Wandle cleanup: Merton: September 2012

The one with the floating pennywort…

Our September cleanup day dawned bright and clear, with a promise of hot weather to come. Just as well as our volunteers were to spend much of the afternoon dragging sodden pennywort out of deep water…

We set up in Ravensbury Park- a crew of regulars and a group of teen volunteers from the Challenge Network. We also had a number of volunteers from the Friends of Ravensbury Park who we worked with throughout the day.

The first part of our cleanup was our regular rubbish removal from the Wandle, which runs fairly shallow at this point. Some of our volunteers also set out with litter pickers to clean up the surrounding park area. But the real hard work was to come after the break…

Debbie and Jo were manning the home base, talking with and directing all three groups of volunteers and a passing policeman who came to check up on the pile of rubbish collecting on the roadside!

At tea break time, the crew were provisioned with an autumn harvest themed lemon and fresh plum cake, an apple/raisin cake and a basket of cheese scones (both plums and apples were grown/foraged in the Merton area).

After the break, the really hard graft began. Floating pennywort is an ongoing problem in Ravensbury Park– it’s a pernicious pest and comes back over time. Clearing it is a task we have undertaken in the past with the Friends of Ravensbury Park, but once again it had built up and was completely choking the lake:

The team split up into those in the water cutting and dragging it to the edge…

…those who helped haul the heavy, sodden masses out onto the bank…

… and those who wheeled/carried it over to the rapidly growing pile (once out of the water, it rots down naturally).

After a long hard slog, the crew pulled out around 10 tonnes of the stuff, and while we didn’t get it all, we are now looking at a second date to clear up the last of it.

Good work and congratulations to all and thanks to all the additional helpers from the Friends of Ravensbury Park and the Challenge Network, as well as Tony and Stan of Merton Council’s Waste Management Team who organised collection of the rubbish!

Thanks to all our volunteers:  Abi, Alessio, Aletua, Amadea, Andy, Barry, Bart, Benjamin, Charles, Ciara, Debbie, Francesca, Gearoid, Hannah, Helen, Henry E-X, Henry W, Jackie,  Jane P, Jane P, JJ, Jo, John , Kaleigh, Kathryn, Leonie, Lesley, Liz, Macson, Mark, Max, Michael, Nick, Nico, Olivia, Paul, Per, Phil, Priya, Rachael, Robert, Roger, Rory, Rosie, Sam, Sue, Thusy, Tim H, Tim L and Toby.

… who collected:

1 buggy, 1 plant pot, 1 garden table, 1 car seat, 1 iron, 1 doll, 1 carpet, 1 toy tiger, 1 bucket, 1 bicycle frame, 1 bicycle tyre, 1 fireplace surround, 1 office chair, 1 rug, 1 car bumper, 1 empty tool case, 1 saw, 1 moped seat, 1 road light, 1 shopping basket, 1 pedal car, 2 pieces hardboard, 3 garden chairs, 4 car tyres, 8 footballs and 10 bags of assorted rubbish.

… and removed approximately 10 tonnes of floating pennywort.

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