Wandle cleanup: June 2014: Sutton

The one with the iron, the ditch and the sward-phobe!

On a lovely, warm summer’s day, 36 volunteers assembled at Culvers Avenue to cleanup round the island, and to work their way up to Hackbridge Road, picking up rubbish and removing Himalayan balsam stands, if they could find any.  Tim is overseeing some river restoration at this site over the coming months, so a pre-works cleanup was just what was needed.

We divided ourselves into two groups to tackle both the left and right hand arms of the river.

Up first, Gideon rescued a Care Bear by the leg:

Culvers Avenue 08

whilst Roger, with a paint tray in one hand, wondered what it was he had just picked up in the other!

Culvers Avenue 10

The small party of volunteers who tackled the right hand arm of the Wandle, wheeled back barrow after barrow of light litter, particularly cans of Red Stripe.

Culvers Avenue 18

As volunteers waded upstream in the cool shallows of the Wandle searching for rubbish, it was easy to imagine ourselves in the Surrey countryside of bygone days.

Culvers Avenue 06

Just before we stopped for a refreshment break, Gideon found a little purple pipe:

Culvers Avenue 17


Meanwhile Abi and Jo joined Roger at the growing rubbish pile to unload their trugs.

Culvers Avenue 28

We trooped back to the gazebo to enjoy tea, coffee, squash and delicious cakes brought by Ann, Jana and Sally.  There were bananas in one and raspberries in another so we decided we would count a slice of each towards our 5 (or is it 7) a day!

Culvers Avenue 22

Gideon, however, brought his own lunch, a much more healthy option, and settled down for a prandial natter with Tim who decided not to sit on the grass, but relaxed in the Kiwi-painted wheelbarrow that Jo had donated some months earlier.

Culvers Avenue 20

With one eye on the future we always like to encourage younger volunteers to help out, and this young man wanted to prove that he was old enough to join in by putting on a pair of gloves:

Culvers Avenue 25

After lunch, when we were refreshed and had topped up our sunscreen, we continued up towards Hackbridge Road.

Picking up rubbish can be hard work and sometimes when it’s hot, you just have to sit down where it’s coolest:

Culvers Avenue 21

All too soon it was time to down tools, have a final count up of the types and quantity of rubbish removed from the river, load up the van and head on home.

Culvers Avenue 32

Grateful thanks to David of Sutton’s Waste Management Team for organising collection of all the rubbish.

Culvers Avenue 30

Huge thanks to Gideon and AJ who loaded up the van, and to Gideon again who helped unload the van back at the garage.

Thanks to all our volunteers:  Abi, Adam, AJ, Ann, Bella, Bill, Charles, David, Diana, Eliot, Gearóid, Gideon, Graham, Helen H, Helen O, Jamie, Jana, Jane, John, Jo H, Jo S, Ken, Marianne, Nick B, Nick H, Paul, Roger, Rose, Russell, Sally, Sally Ann, Sid,  Theo, Tim, Vera and Will.

Who collected:  1 flowerpot, 1 stirrup pump, 1 garden chair, 1 mini snooker table, 1 child’s slide, 1 wheelbarrow, 1 tea light holder, 1 fire extinguisher, 1 carpet sweeper, 1 buggy, 1 radio-controlled boat, 1 suitcase, 1 hanging basket, 1 Jaguar steering wheel, 1 umbrella, 1 window frame, 1 road barrier, 1 child’s bicycle, 1 CD player, 1 car tyre, 1 office chair, 1 ornamental snail, 1 golf ball, 1 iron, 1 laptop, 2 bicycle tyres, 3 children’s scooters, 50 bin bags of light litter, and, of course, there’s always a coconut!

Culvers Avenue 31

All photographs Sally Ann Symis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.