Wandle cleanup: March 2014: Merton and Sutton

The one with the Mega Clean Up Day

After weeks of rain and grey, soggy days, this month’s cleanup day was wonderfully fine and warm.

Joining forces with the Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust, the Wandle Valley Forum, the Merton Conservation volunteers, Merton and Sutton Councils, LWT, Willow Lane Business Improvement District, TM United and the EA, we congregated at the edge of the rugby pitches in Poulter Park for a ‘Mega Clean Up Day’.


After an few words of introduction and a comprehensive Health and Safety briefing, 65 volunteers equipped themselves with gloves, litter pickers and bin bags and set off to collect as much rubbish as they could in 4 hours.

Groups of volunteers, each with a Team Leader, were dispersed to the KNK Stadium, Watermeads, Bennett’s Hole nature reserve, the Wandle Trail, into all the undergrowth and to the edges of the rugby pitches.

Again, Wandle Trust volunteers weren’t able to get into the river – but that didn’t stop them safely grappling 4 tyres out of the water to add to the rubbish pile.

There was an astonishing variety of rubbish in the undergrowth including two shopping trolleys and a fake leather sofa.

Mark managed to balance the shopping trolley on a wheelbarrow:

whilst Will and John decided the best way to transport the sofa was on their heads:

and as we were just about to break for lunch, they set it on the grass where it made a rather luxurious seat for Will, Jamie and Marcia.

As well as hot coffee and tea, there were refreshing jugs of squash along with a wonderful selection of cakes – carrot, ginger, chocolate, Dorset apple, blueberry and lemon, cupcakes and flapjacks.    Thanks to Abi, Ann, Jana, Jo and Sally for an excellent edible experience!

Harnessing this collective sugar rush, we went back to the task in hand, noticing that patches of Celandine were springing up along the pathway.

A small group of volunteers got to grips with some rubbish down near the KNK Stadium gates, and soon built an impressive pile of rubbish:

All too soon, it was 3pm and we had to pack up the van with all our kit, leaving behind another impressive pile of rubbish in Poulter Park:

Thanks to AJ and Gideon who loaded up and unloaded the van.

Thanks to Peter Hegarty for use of the facilities at the Mitcham Rugby Club.

Huge thanks to Tony of Merton Waste Management Team, who sent Stan on the day, and to David of Sutton Waste Management Team for organising collection of all the rubbish.

Thanks to all our volunteers:  AJ, Abi, Alan G, Alan W, Andy B, Andy W, Angela G, Angela N, Ann, Barry, Bella, Bill, Bruce, Charles, Davinia, Denis, Dominic, Eliot, Erica, Gareth, Gearóid, Gideon, Ian, Jamie, Jan, Jo, Joe, John B, John L, John N,  Kate, Keith, Laurent, Lisa, Lyn, Marcia, Mark Mc, Mark P, Melanie, Michael, Mike, Nigel, Oscar, Patricia, Per, Peter C, Peter W, Phoebe, Rebecca, Rob, Roger, Rose, Sally, Sophie, Stephen, Sue B, Sue M, Suzanne, Theo, Tim H, Tim L, Tina, Toby, Wally and Will.

Who collected:

Poulter Park:

½ a coconut, ½ a jar of peanut butter, ½ a mattress, 1 section of metal fence, 1 sofa cushion, 1 pair of socks, 1 adjustable legs of office chair, 1 pallett, 1 fire extinguisher, 1 iron, 1 air conditioning unit, 1 compost bin, 1 scaffolding pole, 1 car bumper, 1 chainlink fence, 1 plastic sledge, 1 estate agent’s sign, 1 motorbike bumper, 1 parcel shelf, 1 plastic Christmas tree, 1 duvet, 1 mop, 1 plastic barrier, 1 fake leather sofa, 1 arrow, 1 road cone, 1 golf umbrella, 1 motorcycle frame, 2 gas canisters, 2 shopping trolleys, 2 plastic pipes, 3 fridge freezers, 4 tyres and 74 bin bags of rubbish.

KNK Stadium:

1 shopping trolley frame, 1 car wheel, 1 piece of plywood, 2 mattresses and at least 20 bags of rubbish

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