The one with three seasons in one day…
For our March cleanup, we returned to Merton – and another area we’d never tackled before, next to the site of the Dons’ old Plough Lane stadium, now a bijou housing development.
Just downstream from the Plough Lane road bridge, this stretch of river was blighted long ago by flood relief schemes, with concrete and steel sheathing installed along both banks.
Even so, a determined copse of willows had taken root on the outside of the bend, and started to recreate some good-looking habitat. On this occasion, they provided our 61 volunteers with a safe route down to all the rubbish in the river:
Encouraged by spring sunshine, daffodils and celandines were coming out along the banks…
… and so too was a lot of heavy rubbish…
… with several volunteers commenting on the squelching depths of detritus under their boots in the water (evidently we’ll need to visit this stretch again before long).
Thanks to a marathon wader-mending session by Erica, Gideon, John and Diana, most people stayed relatively clean and even dry – until clouds moved in at coffee time, with torrential rain followed by hail hammering on the gazebo that John had dashed home to collect.
Gill grabbed her chance to rescue Tigger from one of our younger volunteers: she thinks he’ll scrub up nicely to sit on her desk:
At close of play, beers and hot baths sounded understandably better to everyone than waiting around for a team photo in a hailstorm.
Even so, the sun was almost out again by the time we’d loaded the van and taken this shot…
… yet another huge volume of rubbish, and we’re very grateful to Gary and his team from Merton Council for clearing it away for us!
Thanks to all our volunteers: Alex, Alexandra, Andy B, Andy C, Ann, Anya, Brendan, Carl, Carolyn, Chris D, Chris E, Diana, Elspeth, Emily, Erica, Freya, Gary, Gideon, Gill, Gvantsa, Henrietta, Ian, James C, James Y, Jane, Janet, Jayne, Jo, John B, Julia, Ken, LeAnne, Launa, Lizzie, Mahelet, Maria, Mark, Martin, Matt, Mike, Missy, Neil, Nick, Nigel, Paul, Pierre, Rigby, Rob H, Rob T, Robert, Rory, Roy, Sally, Sam, Sarah, Steve, Sue B, Sue I, Theo, Toby and Wayne
I really enjoyed the Clear Up – despite all the aching limbs on Monday when I went back to driving a desk! A great bunch of people and a really worthwhile cause. Unless I have more pressing commitments count me in for the next clean Up! (Note to self – repair leaky waders!!)
Steve, many thanks for your support, and thanks for telling the guys on FishingMagic all about us too –
(For anyone who hasn’t seen the thread, it’s here: http://tiny.cc/BFpGI )
Hope those limbs have stopped aching – deep mud makes for great resistance training, I find – and see you at the next cleanup if you can make it!