Category Archives: The Wandle Trust

Action on the River Wandle

We’ve been busy on the River Wandle in south London, with new projects starting and plenty of volunteer events. Have a look below to read about our recent Wandle work.

1. River Wandle Cleanups

On the second Sunday of every month we run a community cleanup on the River Wandle. These events are really popular and attract an average of 40 volunteers each time! Here are some of our recent cleanup blogs:

November 2016                         October 2016                          September 2016

Don’t forget to help us fund these in 2017 by voting for our Aviva Project HERE!

2. New Project: Discovering the Source of the Wandle

wandle-park-croydon

We have embarked on an exciting new project to research and understand the source of the River Wandle and how it has moved over time. The project will work with local volunteers to research the source through archived material, geological maps, photographic evidence and oral histories. Read all about it here!

3. Parrots Feather Control in Beddington Park

img_0779Working with local volunteers our INNS Officer, Alan Martin, tackled the Parrots Feather found in Beddington Park on the Wandle. Parrots Feather is an aquatic invasive plant that loves to grow in still and slow moving water. Our team of volunteers manually cleared the pond whilst our Education Officer ran a number of activities to raise awareness about invasive non-native species – read the blog here!

 

 

Award Winning Restoration on the Wandle

Our rehabilitation work on the River Wandle’s Carshalton Arm has won the Urban Category of the 2016 UK River Prize.

By opening up fish passage, enhancing river habitat, addressing urban diffuse pollution and reintroducing brown trout, we have attained ‘Good Ecological Potential’ for the Carshalton Arm and re-established trout for the first time in over 80 years!

We attended the Awards Ceremony in Blackpool this week at the River Restoration Centre‘s Annual Conference to collect our award and showcase our project to the wider river community.

We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without all the people and organisations who helped us along way. To express our gratitude, we created this short film about the journey this project has taken us on.

Recruiting: Part-time River Wandle Education Officer

LWLPS LOGOWe are recruiting a part-time River Education Officer to develop teaching packs and a ‘river in the classroom’ project as part of the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership Scheme.

This is a brand new role and will be based on the River Wandle in south London.

Further details are available here: EducationOfficer_JobDescriptionFeb2015.

To apply, please send email a CV (2 pages max) and a covering letter (2 pages max) focusing on your relevant experience, knowledge and skills, before 5pm on Monday 6th April.

HighImpact logo CMYK

 

What have we been up to?

We have had a busy start to 2015 – maybe it is time for you to catch up with what we have been up to?

River Restoration ~ Luke has been busy transforming the Ravensbury Park Back Channel on the River Wandle for both the local community and wildlife. Read all about his progress here.

Pollution Control ~ Olly has been working hard trialling new methods to mitigate against urban diffuse pollution. We have trialled Siltex in Carshalton Ponds and installed Mycofilters at problematic outfalls.

Looking Forward ~ We’ve got restoration projects this year on the Hogsmill and Beverley Brook so keep your eyes peeled for more updates!

Recruiting: Invasive Non-Native Species Officer

The Wandle Trust (part of the South East Rivers Trust) is recruiting a part-time Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) Officer to help coordinate and deliver work to tackle aquatic INNS on the River Wandle.

Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam

INNS can have a negative impact on rivers by both directly out-competing native species and indirectly altering habitats, for example by causing the excessive ingress of silt which can smother the natural gravel riverbed.

The post is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and is part of the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership, a programme which involves the local community in the restoration and enhancement of the River Wandle landscape.

The Project Officer will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the River Wandle Invasive Non-Native Species Action Plan and Work Programme.  The role will involve both coordinating the work of a range of partners and contributing to the delivery of the INNS Work Programme.

This post is now closed.

The Problem with Urban Duck Ponds

Carshalton PondsIn a highly developed landscape such as Greater London, urban ponds can provide an important haven for wildlife and therefore it is important to keep the waters happy and healthy.

Unfortunately over time urban ponds tend to fill up with sediment washed from the surrounding area such as leaf litter and bird droppings. Have you ever been for a walk along the Wandle to Carshalton? If you have, you will have undoubtedly seen a mass gathering of wildfowl at the ponds. These high densities of geese and ducks can be a particular problem with their droppings increasing the organic content of the ponds, resulting in algae blooms and a deterioration in the water quality.

Birds Birds Birds

So what can we do?

The Wandle Trust are trialling Siltex in Carshalton Ponds as a potential solution to the surplus of silt.

Siltex

Siltex is a natural chalk-like substance which helps to increase the speed of silt breakdown by stimulating natural processes. It is environmentally friendly and is harmless to plants and animals.

In the next week, we will be applying the Siltex powder to the mud in Carshalton Ponds. The effects of Siltex will then be monitored closely over the next few months by our staff to determine the effectiveness of the measure and its effects on water quality.

We will of course keep you updated with our news – so keep your eyes out for more Siltex blogs.

Pollution-Busting on the Wandle

Over the last 2 years, the Wandle Trust has been intensifying efforts to tackle the considerable problem of pollution in the river. Often contamination can be tackled by our partners in the Environment Agency, tracking down pollution to the source. However, this does not work for all sources of contamination.

For example, contaminants such as particles from car exhaust, the loss of engine oil and other contaminants from the roads can all be washed into the river from no one “point” source. This is known as diffuse pollution.

DiffusePollutionTo illustrate this, there are about 2.5 million cars in London, and 16% of them leak oil. It has been calculated that this would equate to 261,635 gallons of oils dripping onto roads every year! Much of this oil will work its way into London’s surface water drains and then the rivers.

Although changes to the law and car technology may help one day in the future, we need to start acting now. It has been the Wandle Trust’s mission to find out how the contaminated waters from the surface water drains can be cleaned up before entering our river. This is vitally important because water quality is a major determinant of what wildlife can live in the rivers, how beautiful the rivers are, and how much the community value their local water landscapes.

In the current phase of our Pollution Busting Project, four measures are being installed and trialled to determine their effectiveness in reducing the contamination coming into the River Wandle. These measures are the most promising selected from several which were investigated by the Trust and they are called:

  • Downstream Defenders
  • Mycofilters
  • Siltex
  • Smart Sponges

There will be more information about these appearing on our websites in the coming months. We look forward to telling you more about this exciting new phase of our work!

A little light goes a long way..

Our work on the River Wandle continues with a habitat and fish passage project on the Ravensbury Park by-pass channel. This work will address habitat deficiencies, stream form and fish passage around the tilting weir which is a significant barrier to upstream fish movement. To read more about this project click here.

Toe-boarded and impounded nature of the back channel

Toe-boarded and impounded nature of the back channel

Concrete lined banks as well as over shaded character that limits aquatic vegetation  growth

Concrete lined banks as well as the over shaded character that limits aquatic vegetation growth

Earthwatch & South East Rivers Trust Wandle Walk

Working in partnership with Earthwatch, the South East Rivers Trust were proud to host two river walks along the Wandle as part of the H2O Development Programme.

Wandle Walking

The H2O Development Programme is a unique opportunity for participants to learn about environmental issues, spend time outdoors working with scientists and community members, and explore what sustainability means to organisations – and to them. During the programme, participants become citizen scientists and take an active role in scientific data gathering by joining the global FreshWater Watch community working together to promote freshwater sustainability.

Talking and Walking

Bella and I gave our banking guests a tour of the River Wandle from Carshalton Ponds to our river restoration works on Butterhill, sharing the journey of our Trust from its volunteer beginnings to its current expansion into the South East Rivers Trust.

Water Sampling

On both walks, we also stopped to take water samples from the Wandle, comparing the water quality at the groundwater source (Carshalton Ponds) with water further downstream.

We were even lucky enough to see a kingfisher and a heron on our walks!

Heron

All photos courtesy of Earthwatch.

Earthwatch

FreshWater Watch

Welcome to Luke, Olly and Polly!

Three new members of staff have recently joined the SERT team.

Luke Mitchell is joining us to work on river restoration projects; Olly van Biervliet will be running our water quality projects; and Polly Bryant will be running our volunteer events.

We are delighted to have them on board and that they’re so enthusiastic – within half an hour of arriving at the Trust, they were already getting stuck in planting up our river restoration on the River Wandle!

Luke, Polly and Olly get stuck in

Luke, Polly and Olly get stuck in!