What’s new with Project Kingfisher?

Action on sewage in rivers

Raw sewage is entering UK rivers on a horrifyingly regular basis, damaging our river ecosystems and putting public health at risk. In 2019 alone, untreated sewage poured into England’s rivers for an astounding 1.5 million hours, over the course of 200,000 separate incidents.

What’s really shocking is that, much of the time, this practice is completely legal.

Across the UK is a network of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). These are essentially Victorian-era relief valves on the sewage treatment infrastructure. If sewage piping, or even a sewage treatment works, is becoming overwhelmed with sewage and rainwater, it is diverted and discharged into a nearby watercourse instead of backing up into homes.

Eat, Sleep, Restore, Repeat

Our volunteers were incredibly busy back in February 2020, carrying out River Restoration on the Beverley Brook and Wandle.

At the start of 2020, a new group of volunteer River Restorers came together to learn about natural river processes and how heavily modified waterbodies (such as the Beverley Brook) have been altered over time. These changes stop the natural processes which would usually shape a healthy river ecosystem, leaving us with a degraded river that has few, good habitats for wildlife.

Early in 2019, we carried out a large-scale restoration project along 1.3 km of the Beverley Brook through Wimbledon Common. Our River Restorer volunteers came on board to help us extend the work upstream – this time using people power alone!

We worked together to plan and design the work, ready to deliver as a team in mid-February.