Wandle Cleanup: September 2019: Sutton

This month we were in Beddington Park, in Sutton and we had a Wandle cleanup with a twist!

Over the last 12 months our wonderful volunteers have given over 1400 hours of their time to help the River Wandle by removing more than 40 tonnes of rubbish from along its length. After all this hard work we wanted to thank everyone by hosing a Litter Picnic. Two hours of cleaning up the Wandle followed by a picnic; giving us ample time to chat and bask in the warm glow of this year’s achievements.

Much of the park is kept clear by the brilliant work carried out by the Friends of Beddington Park. So we set to work clearing the section of the Wandle at the most upstream end of Beddington Park that runs behind Carew Manor. This section is the least visible so tends to accumulate the most litter.

Our haul mostly consisted of plastic bags, wrappers and bottles – though we also picked up a large bundle of chicken wire fencing, a statue, a couple of tyres and a kid’s bike.

While the adults were cleaning up the river, our younger friends had a chance to look more closely at what lives in the water and how these creatures might be affected by litter.  They found freshwater shrimp, damselfly nymphs and were especially good at finding sticklebacks.  They showed a real understanding and appreciation for the natural world as they joined in all our games and activities. Thanks to all the kids who helped test out some of our new education and family activities!  Our Junior River Ranger programme is now up and running if you are looking for ideas for what to do during your next visit to the river.

We managed to collect this nice heap of rubbish in just under 2 hours – not bad going!

With the sun shining and the temperatures rising it was time to kick back and relax with a long lunch. A special thanks to Wally for making such delicious rhubarb muffins with his very own home grown rhubarb. Yum!

Massive thanks to everyone who helped set up at the start of the day and pack up the van at the end of the event, Dave for supervising the Event Tent, Sutton Council for organising the collection of all the rubbish, Big Yellow Wandsworth for providing free storage space for our equipment, and of course to our funders The National Lottery Community Fund!

Thank you to all our volunteers for coming: Andy, Clare, Joseph, Veronique, Ella, Jessica, Christophe, Paul, Claire, Alfie, Rosey, Oliver, Yvonne, Chris, Joe, Wally, Bey, Caurie-ann, Martin, Emma, William, Simon, Guy, Anna, Margo, Per, Geoff, Charles, Neil, Verity, Frank, Edie, Mikey, Margaret, Kyle, Andy, Michael, Murray, Elisabeth, Isla, Gemma, Jonathan, Dave, Fiona, Marion, Joseph, Wayne, Margaret, Rob, Sheila, Julia, Lydia, Hamzah, Jessica, Kayla, Camilla, Tayla and Brittany.

See you all along the river again soon,

Jess

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