The unrelenting rain threatened to call things off on Sunday, when we met for October’s cleanup at Waterside Way, in Merton. The river level started a little higher than normal, while the forecast looked pretty miserable, and due to the flashy nature of the river we were worried that any further heavy rain might mean that the cleanup would need to be cancelled on health and safety grounds. However, thankfully the weather forecast was not 100% accurate and we just had a dreary and drizzly day to contend with: nothing our stalwart volunteers can’t handle!
We had an excellent turnout of 51 volunteers, some wading whilst others hauled the rubbish onto the banks, ferried it back to the collection point in wheel barrows and litter picked the banks.
There was more rubbish in the river than we anticipated and we cleared approximately 4 tonnes from a stretch less than 100m long.
After two years of repeated efforts and an hour long battle on Sunday, this particularly pesky shopping trolley was excavated from its home in the silt, only to be joined shortly afterwards by another one.
If this skateboard had been structurally sound, we would have all been delighted by a fabulous display of Polly’s skills! Sadly this one had seen better days, so we’ll just have to wait until a better quality one is pulled from the river.
Jess found a way to keep people focused on the work…
So what did we find?
Two tyres, two shopping trolleys, a mattress, a desk fan, numerous scaffold poles, a tent, a mini skateboard, a toy gun, mdf boards, loads of carpet, clothing and the usual haul of plastic bottles and wrappers.
A special thank you to everyone who helped pack up the van at the end of the event, Dave for supervising the Event Tent, Merton Council for organising collection of all the rubbish, Big Yellow Wandsworth for providing free storage space for our equipment, and to our funders, the National Lottery Community Fund.
Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Bev, Autem, Anna, Lindsay, Margo, Anna, James, Iker, Simon, William, Dave, Mickey, Wayne, Martin, Guy, India, Tony, Steve, Rob , Paul, Elizabeth, Brian, Peter, Simon, Derek, Aaron, Will, Phil, Chris, Deborah, Andy, J, Teddy, Alex, Elijah, Margaret, Jacob, Kayla, Sheila, Phil, Zena, Willow, Julia, Mick, Jamie, NJ, Kathryn, Paula, Sophie and Charles.