Wandle cleanup: March 2010: Merton

The one with the dumper from…

This month’s cleanup not only brought us back to the river just south of Plough Lane in Merton, which we last visited in December – it also brought us more sponsorship, this time from local construction firm Cappagh, who generously offered to help us deep-clean another 50-yard stretch of this horribly-littered stretch of river.

With offices almost adjacent to the Wandle on Waterside Way, they lent us a dumper for the day, complete with precision-driver Sven (who impressively didn’t touch the sides of the towpath once on the long haul to and from our dumping site).


Nick, Sarah, Ben from Thames 21, Di and Caspian soon dredged a carpet up from the depths, which we hoped hadn’t come down the bank from the allotments on the other side of the river…

 … swiftly followed by bikes, shopping trolleys and many, many buckets of other rubbish (including perhaps the remains of a very mini dumper?)

Under the gazebo at coffee time, Sally and Jo had excelled themselves with an Easter sweetshop’s worth of homemade hot cross buns, cupcakes and extremely chocolatey Wellington Squares… our youngest helper, Ailis, approved thoroughly:

Buzzing with this year’s springtime sugar shot, we headed off to work again until past 3.30… and the pile of rubbish grew steadily…

 … at least 11 dumper loads for Gary and our friends from Merton Council to collect, including 23 tyres, 5 carpets, 5 plastic pipes, 4 metal pipes, 4 shopping trolleys, 4 bicycles, 4 traffic cones, 4 mattresses, 2 safes, 2 chairs, 2 buggies, 1 table, 1 sink, 1 barrel, 1 corrugated plastic sheet, 1 PC, 1 saucepan and a lot of less identifiable rubbish.

And as we followed the dumper back along the towpath one last time, we all agreed: this had been a lot less tiring than wheeling it all the way in barrows ourselves!

Thanks to all our volunteers: Ailis, Barry, Ben, Caspian, Cecilia, Carol, Carolyn, Chris, Dave, Dave, David, Debbie, Di, Dominic, Dorothy, Duncan, Erica, Forrest, Henry, James, Jamie, Jez, Jo, Jo, John, Julie, Ken, Mike, Natasha, Nick, Nick, Sally, Sam, Sarah, Sihong, Stephen, Svetli, Paul, Rachel, Roger, Rory and Theo

… as well as Cappagh for helping make our Easter cleanup so much easier!

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