Wandle cleanup: July 2009: Sutton

The one with balsam and the picnic…

Regular readers of this charity blog may have noticed a theme developing over the past couple of months: yes, it’s open season on Himalayan balsam down here in the Wandle Valley.

So the second Sunday of July found us back in the bucolic setting of Beddington Park, returning to tackle more of this massive flowering infestation that’s completely overwhelming our native bankside plants. 

Or maybe was… before 36 Wandle Trust volunteers arrived…



Erica and Debbie drove shuttles in our hired van to shift the bags of balsam to a central point for Sandra and our friends from Sutton Council to collect and compost…


As the clearance continued…



 … the inevitable motorbike and shopping trolleys materialised from the jungle:



By 2.30 we’d pulled at least 100 yards and 150 bags of balsam, maybe more…



 … so we hungrily reckoned it was time to swap gloves, waders and nettle stings for the cooling gourmet delights of the Wandle Trust summer picnic, our big thank-you to all our dedicated supporters…



 … who spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the sun, totally unable to move but congratulating Sally and Jo on their culinary skills!


Thanks to all our volunteers: Abi, Alex, Andy, Ann, Ben, Caroline, Debbie, Diana, Douglas, Erica, Felix, Gary, Helen, Henry, James, Jane, Janet, Jo H, Jo L, Jo S, Julia, Mel, Mike, Natasha, Neil, Nichola, Nick, Pierre, Sally, Sally Ann, Sarah, Steve C, Steve K, Theo and Tom – as well as Mark who even beat us to it with his blog report over on Gullible’s Travels!

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