Category Archives: News & Events

Thames Water needs to hear from you!

This is the first of a series on blogs focusing on the Water Resource Management Plans for the water companies operating in the south east. To find out what these plans are and why they are important, read our Introduction Blog.

Thames Water is the largest water and wastewater provider in the UK, serving 15 million customers throughout the Thames basin, right from the Cotswolds to the Thames Estuary, where the river meets the sea.

In this blog we will outline their Water Resources Management Plan to help you understand how Thames Water’s proposals will affect your local environment, and highlight what we think are the key points to raise in their consultation to see the best improvement for our rivers and streams.

Their consultation is open until the 29th April so make sure you don’t miss your opportunity to stand up for your local river. 

Currently…

  • Every day Thames Water alone removes 2,600 million litres of water from natural systems, including rivers and the underground reserves that feed our wonderful chalkstreams,  in order to meet our water demands. The more water we use, the more they take and the less there is available for wildlife.
  • 25% of this abstracted water is lost before it even reaches us through leaks in supply pipes. This is an unnecessary loss of our precious water resource.
  • Thames Water have estimated that with increasing population, and decreasing water availability due to climate change, there will be a water shortfall of 864 million litres per day by 2100.

  • There were 1290 incidents of raw sewage flooding last year. Blockages and heavy rainfall can overwhelm the capacity of the current outdated drainage system, causing untreated waste to back up and overflow, entering the environment. See our video of the overflowing Epsom Storm Tanks here.
  • 385 “minor pollution incidents” occurred over the same period. These can be caused by misconnected drainage from residential and business properties, when foul water from sinks, washing machines and toilets, is accidentally entering the surface water drainage system and flowing untreated, directly into rivers.

          Chalkstream experiencing low flows.                      Polluting outfall with “sewage rag”

Key Improvement Areas…

We’ve seen first-hand the threats facing rivers in our region. Thames Water has many opportunities to lessen the impacts they are having on the natural environment and some key areas to improve include:

  • Reducing the amount of water wasted through leakages.
  • Stopping abstraction from our rare chalkstream habitats and use more sustainable sources instead.
  • Increasing capacity and investing more in updating old assets in their sewage system that can no longer cope with the increased population, like the storm tanks.
  • Rectifying misconnected drains and working more closely with partners and local authorities to stop new misconnections occurring.
  • Helping consumers to reduce the amount of water they use at home.
  • Installing Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to reduce the volume of surface water getting into the sewer system during storms, which overload the network and often result in pollution incidents.

Have your say…

There is the potential for great improvement to the health of our rivers. We’d like you to help empower Thames Water to make the right decisions by showing your customer support for increased investment in environmental improvement works and calling for some of the actions we have outlined above.

This consultation ends on 29th April.

Got 1 minute? Find Thames Water on Facebook or Twitter using @thameswater and send your views with #yourwaterfuture

Got 5 minutes? Use the Thames Water Interactive Tool so show them how you’d like their spending to be prioritised.

Got a bit longer? Send Thames Water an email at consultations@thameswater.co.uk with your views. We’ve drafted a template you can personalise to help start you off, download it here.

The full Thames Water plans can be found on their consultation page.

Help shape the future of your water supply and protect our rivers

Water companies across the UK are consulting on their Water Resource Management Plans, and as a customer, you have the opportunity to comment on these plans and influence how your money is spent.

What are Water Resource Management Plans?

Since the water and sewerage industry was privatised in 1989, a regulatory framework was put in place to ensure that consumers receive high standards of service at a fair price. As part of this framework, water companies are required to set out how they will balance water supply and water demand; these are the statutory Water Resource Management Plans (WRMPs). These plans feed into the price review process, overseen by Ofwat, and therefore affect what you pay on your bill at home.

Why should I respond?

Water affects every aspect of our day-to-day lives, from having a drink to flushing the toilet. The water we use comes from the environment, taken from our rivers and the underground aquifers that feed our rivers. The more water we take, the less there is to support wildlife.

These plans highlight how the companies plan to meet the demand for more water in the next 25 years and therefore it is important your voice is heard to help protect our precious rivers and streams.

Did you know we are “Seriously Water Stressed”?

Despite its reputation, England is not as rainy as everyone thinks. For instance, London actually receives less rainfall each year than cities like Miami, Dallas and even Sydney. This means that the South East of England is classified by the Environment Agency as “seriously water stressed” and with projected population increases over the next 80 years, all water companies are looking to find more water to meet the increasing demand.

Did you know the south of England is home to globally rare habitats?

The south of England is lucky enough to be home to chalk streams, a globally rare habitat with only 200 remaining worldwide. They are home to many amazing plants and animals, forming the distinct communities uniquely associated with the clean, chalk-purified water.  They rely on there being sufficient water present in the chalk aquifers, and abstraction from these is a serious threat to their existence.

Did you know raw sewage is discharged into our rivers every day?

While these plans are about water resource and water supply to our homes, they are linked to the other function many water companies provide: wastewater. Thames Water and Southern Water provide wastewater services across the south east, taking used water (sewage) from our homes, cleaning it in the sewage treatment works and then returning it to the environment. As part of their sewer network, there are Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). These CSOs act as emergency discharge valves for when the sewer network is overloaded by rainfall, discharging untreated sewage into our rivers and streams to prevent it backing up in pipes and potentially our homes.  The more water we take from the environment, the less natural water there is in the river to dilute these discharges, making their impacts on the ecology of the river worse.

How do I respond?

To respond, you need to know which water company supplies your water.

The plans contain a fair amount of detail and so to help you digest this, over the next 2 months we will be posting a series of blogs on each of water company’s plans to help you understand how they will affect your local environment, and highlight what we think are the key points to raise to see the best improvement for our rivers and streams.

The series will start with Thames Water as their consultation closes on 29th April.

If you can’t wait for our blogs, click your water company’s name below and you will be taken to their consultation page.

Thames Water

SES Water

Southern Water

Affinity Water

South East Water

Thames Waterblitz

On the 23rd of April the Thames Waterblitz is taking place.

This is a great way of capturing a snapshot in time of water quality in the Thames and all its tributaries from source to sea. Run by Earthwatch, this will be the sixth Waterblitz and so far, they have collected nearly 1200 samples with the help of amazing volunteers.

The data they collect as part of the Waterblitz compliments the regular sampling already carried out by the Environment Agency and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. It allows extra information to be gathered from parts of the river that may normally be overlooked, helping to create a much better picture of what’s going on in one of the country’s most important rivers.

They would love as many people as possible to collect a water sample from their patch of the Thames basin on this one-day event. If you are interested in being involved, then follow this registration link to find out more and get involved. They will then send you all the details you need to take part.

Happy sampling!

 

Happy World Water Day!

The theme of World Water Day in 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – and it’s designed to help us all explore how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.

One of the water challenges we face here in Sutton is surface water flooding. The SuDS in Sutton’s Schools project plans to install sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in seven local schools and at Sutton Council’s offices on Denmark Road. SuDS mimic nature by attenuating rainwater on site, allowing it to either infiltrate into the ground or be released slowly and safely into the drainage network. Not only can this help solve flooding issues but it can also improve the quality of water that reaches the river.

But how can nature bring about these benefits? Watch this video to find out:

 

The results:

On World Water Day, it’s worth thinking about the changes we can make to help solve the water challenges we face. In an urban environment, this could mean creating SuDS features like planters, green roofs or rain gardens to absorb rainwater and filter out contaminants. If lots of people get involved in making their outdoor spaces more rainwater-friendly, we can all begin to have a real impact on our local environment.

Hogsmill Forum 2018

Another Year, Another Great Hogsmill Forum

Last week, volunteers across a range of projects on the Hogsmill joined us and ZSL at London Zoo for the 2018 Hogsmill Forum.

Credit: Sivi Sivanesan

The Forum is an opportunity for us and ZSL to say thank you to all the volunteers who help us with our projects on the Hogsmill – Pollution Patrol and the Riverfly Monitoring Initiative.

It is also a chance to share wider plans for the river with the local community, discussing ideas and actions for the coming year.

If you are interested in either project, get in touch – volunteering@southeastriverstrust.org

While you are here, you might want to check out some of the presentations from the day:

SERT part of legacy delivering £1.9m for nature

We are delighted that SERT is one of five charitable trusts to have been awarded funding from the Patsy Wood Trust, designed to deliver a lasting impact for the environment.

The projects will benefit rivers, woodland, butterflies and landscapes as well as inspiring young people to care for nature through a new skills and learning centre.

The legacy will fund our new Water For All project, working with businesses and communities across the South East to reduce their water use.

You can read the full press release here: PatsyWoodTrust_JointProjectPressRelease_Nov2017.

 

Riding for Rivers, London to Brighton Cycle Ride

Last Sunday, Nick and I rode 54 miles in the name of rivers, completing the London to Brighton cycle ride. This blog is our way of saying thank you to all of those who supported and sponsored us along the way.

(If you’re worried you missed the opportunity to sponsor us, you still can, so never fear! The links are below)

http://www.doitforcharity.com/NickHale

http://www.doitforcharity.com/THull

So why on earth did we agree to cycle 54 miles?

Well, to be honest it was a mix of thinking “Ride4Rivers” was a catchy slogan, and being asked to do it when we under the influence in the pub. Before we knew it, our cycling jerseys had arrived in the post and we were beginning a countdown to Sunday 17th September.

What was Ride4Rivers?

The Ride4Rivers team was organised by the Rivers Trust, inviting local trusts and volunteers to raise money and awareness for their local river by joining the London to Brighton cycle ride. In the team were myself and Nick, other rivers trust staff and volunteers, and riders from Five Rivers and the Angling Trust among others. All the money raised by the Ride4Rivers team will go back to the Trusts and help further work to protect and enhance our river ecosystem. So how could we say no really?

The BIG Day

The Ride4Rivers team gathered early in the Sunday morning at Clapham Common with over 4000 other riders.

The team respectfully giving space and attention to the fuel for most to get started, coffee

Within a few miles we came to Hackbridge where the route offered a perfect photo opportunity overlooking the site where we removed four weirs and undertook significant restoration work back in 2014 on the Wandle – with Nick working for us as the contractor at the time!

The river was looking splendid, but there wasn’t time to stop for long, and shortly after we were passing the source of the Wandle at Carshalton Ponds.

A quick pit stop to admire the Hackbridge restoration work

The flat ground of London soon turned to numerous steep climbs as we ascended the North Downs. Fortunately however physics was on our side as what goes up must come down. Soon we had gravity helping us as we descended into the Weald. The atmosphere among all was great as we pushed on mile after mile. Our stomachs began to grumble but the organisers had this covered by laying on an absolute feast at Mile 29, the only thing being they made us work for it by locating the lunch at the top of a steep hill.

Feeling energised if somewhat seized up, progress after lunch began well but then… psssss, Nick got a puncture on his rear tyre. Now I mentioned that neither of us are cyclists, it would appear that since being children our memory of how to replace an inner tube was a little hazy. Sometime later (and with a little help it must be said) we were back on the road.

Sad face

A noise continued to be emitted from my bike that had developed since lunch.  Some 12 miles later as we approached the infamous Ditchling Beacon the noise finally got to me and I figured I should have a little investigate. It appeared that I had been riding with my brake partly on since lunch. Well I didn’t want to make it too easy! Again with our bike maintenance knowledge lacking after a little more unsuccessful fumbling the only thing for it was to disconnect the rear brake.

Ditchling Beacon soon loomed over us and the climb was on, one mile of uphill struggle lay ahead but we were not going to be defeated and soon we summited to spectacular panoramic views with the sun coming out on cue.  More unsuccessful fumbling to reinstate my brake, meant a bit of a hairy descent down to Brighton but who cared, from here it was all downhill to the finish line, the end was near and the prospect of a pint alluring.

Ditchling Beacon summited

We both need to say a massive thank you to all of you who so kindly donated to Ride4Rivers – your backing was so valuable to encourage us along, not to mention the benefit it will bring in helping us to enhance, restore and protect our rivers. Thank you so much! Nick and I also need to thank Steve Wright, Luke and Sam for lending us bikes so that we were able to take part – otherwise it would have been a long walk.

A well earned beer

If you wanted to sponsor, but missed out then our fundraising pages are remaining open for another couple of months so please do give what you can in support of our local rivers.

http://www.doitforcharity.com/NickHale

http://www.doitforcharity.com/THull

 

World Rivers Day

What is World Rivers Day?

World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways and it takes place on the last Sunday in September each year. 

We rely on rivers for more than you may realise. Rivers around the world provide us with freshwater to drink, wash and to water our crops. They were (and still are) a source of power. We use them as a mode of transport both for industry and for our recreation. On top of these, they are the many more ecological services that rivers and their ecosystems provide us.

Given how much we rely on rivers, it’s clear that we cannot impact our local river systems without ultimately impacting our own health and well-being.  With many of our rivers facing an uncertain future, it is all the more important we celebrate them and raise awareness of the key issues they’re up against.  

How to celebrate?

Across our area, lots of partners are planning to celebrate World Rivers Day in many different ways. Have a scroll below and see what’s to offer in your local area.

Loddon Rivers Week – Monday 18th to Sunday 24th September

This years Loddon Rivers Week is timed to coincide with World Rivers Day on Septenber 24th – supported by Thames Water and the Rivers & Wetland Community Days fund.
During this week, and on the day itself the Loddon Catchment Partnership are inviting people who are curious about their rivers to come along to watch, help and learn about some of the activities that can help our rivers become healthier places with thriving wildlife.

River Mole Discovery Day

Join the Mole Partnership in Leatherhead on World Rivers Day (24th September, remember?) to celebrate the Mole and discover the secrets of the river.

Lots of activities for families too!

To download the event flyer, click here.

Wandle Fortnight

A two-week long celebration of the River Wandle – with over 60 events to choose from and plenty to pick on World Rivers Day itself.

The full programme can be found here. 

World Rivers Day on the Hogsmill

Join the Hogsmill Partnership on World Rivers Day to celebrate the wonderful Hogsmill river. There will be bird watching, pond dipping, crafts, wildlife talks and much more going on at the Hogsmill Nature Reserve in Berrylands.

Download the full leaflet here. 

Toby and Nick are set to Ride for Rivers this September

Our very own Toby and Nick are taking part in the London to Brighton Cycle Ride this September to raise money for our local rivers.

The route is pretty famous, starting in Clapham Common (London) and travelling 54 miles to Madeira Drive on the Brighton sea front. That is a long way, but let us put it into river units for you…

54 miles is the equivalent of:

  • 6.3 Wandles
  • 9 Hogsmills
  • 2.5 Loddons
  • 14.5 Dours
  • 0.77 Medways (that sounds less impressive, but it is a long way)
  • 86904.6 faggot bundles

The route itself also briefly passes the works delivered by us on the Wandle at Hackbridge – but there is no time for stopping…

We’d really appreciate it if you would sponsor Nick and/or Toby for this mammoth cycle ride.

By doing so you will be helping to raise funds for us which will be used to continue our mission to deliver outstanding river ecosystem enhancement across the south east of England.

To help you choose, we have outlined the rider profiles for you below, including past experience, recent achievements, bad habits and more.

Rider Profiles

Team Nick 

Name: Nick Hale

Age: 33

Build: Rather not say

Nick Hale has never, and will never, consider himself a cyclist.

He first learnt to ride a bike at the young age of 4, but it took 29 years before he had the confidence to take the training wheels off.

That shouldn’t put you off joining Team Hale though, as Nick is a hardworking member of the Trust. Joining just 1 year ago, Nick has already delivered some great projects for us including weir removals, eel passes, river restoration and more.

And if that wasn’t enough, he is hugely competitive, so racing against Toby Hull is the perfect fuel.

Recent Achievements:

Sponsor Team Hale Here!

Team Hull

Name: Toby Hull

Age: 35

Build: Easy on the eyes, but not the scales…

Toby Hull may not have prepared for this race in a traditional way, but in a sense he has been preparing his whole life.

Toby has always eaten 6 meals a day, bringing in 5 packed lunches to graze on between 9 and 5 – apples, plums, chocolate biscuits, you name it, Toby eats it and does not share it. His daily meal number will likely be increasing to 8 or 10 as the race draws nearer, to build strength and energy reserves.

With a passion for rivers and the outdoors, Toby has never joined a gym and instead gets his exercise by delivering river restoration for the Trust. Favourite exercises included the post knocker front squat and brushwood bundle lifting.

Recent Achievements:

Sponsor Team Hull Here! 

Finally we like to thank The Rivers Trust for organising this for us and other local trusts to take part it!

Get ready for London Rivers Week 2017

Get your diaries out and calendars open, the dates for London Rivers Week 2017 have been confirmed!

LRW logo finalLondon Rivers Week 2016 brought together many partners across London, delivering a total of 35 public events to get everyone involved with their local river. This year, we want to make it even bigger and better.

London Rivers Week 2017 will start on Monday 26th June and run through to Sunday 2nd July. During this week, organisations across London will put on a variety of river themed events including cleanups, guided walks, information talks, citizen science taster sessions and more.

To find out more about London River Week, check out the Thames 21 website page where all the events will be listed: http://www.thames21.org.uk/londonriversweek/

Until then, keep your eyes peeled for more details on what is to come!

20161935823_00d2bef0b3_o

In the news: MPs demand overhaul of Environment Agency to protect communities from rising flood risk

floodpic1

Source: www.getreading.co.uk

Winter is on the way – and makes this report on future flood prevention from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (released today) very timely.  Today’s report, ‘Future flood prevention’, http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/115/115.pdf  builds on previous works such as ‘Floods and Dredging – a reality check’  from CIWEM
http://ciwem.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Floods-and-Dredging-a-reality-check.pdf   and others, recognising that in many cases, traditional approaches to managing flood risk are not only unaffordable and unsustainable – they don’t always work and are neither, the only – nor, sometimes, the best solution.

The report highlights how a catchment wide approach is central to achieving an affordable and sustainable response to flooding in a more populated future, facing the consequences of climate change.

The Catchment based approach (CaBA) https://www.catchmentbasedapproach.org/   and Catchment Partnerships are well placed to drive this forward and deliver real solutions to communities not able to benefit from more traditional ‘hard engineered’ and expensive schemes. Existing Catchment Partnerships have developed strong links between local communities, local authorities, the Environment Agency, wildlife trusts and large institutions such as water companies and local industries, and are already delivering projects that enhance and protect our precious water resources and habitats; using a holistic approach to achieve multi-benefit solutions.

At the South East Rivers Trust, we are proud to host and co-host river catchments across the South East, and are increasingly involved in projects addressing local flood issues. In September, the Loddon Catchment Partnership  http://www.loddoncatchment.org.uk  supported a resident-led workshop, hosted by the Loddon Basin Flood Action Group and the University of Reading, on the potential for natural flood management projects to help residents who are at risk of flooding in Berkshire.

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Although there is a need for more evidence to inform best practice (but see Wilkinson ME, Quinn PF, Welton P. (2010) Runoff management during the September 2008 floods in the Belford catchment, Northumberland. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 3(4)), schemes such as those described in the report have shown the potential to achieve cumulative benefits from linked, practical projects that use techniques as diverse as increasing the area of land that can absorb water by planting woodland, to creating extra water storage areas by installing ‘leaky dams’ of natural materials that slow and divert water during high flow events.

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Reproduced from Future Flood Prevention (EFRA Committee report)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/115/115.pdf

It all makes so much sense! – BUT there are challenges. The report highlights that the key to the success – or even existence of these projects lies in taking the whole community along, and providing realistic payments to landowners whose livelihoods are affected by these schemes. In discussions at our Cuckmere and Pevensey Catchment Partnership meeting http://www.cplcp.org.uk  farmers stressed the need for these payments to be an ongoing income stream, rather than one-off payments that do not reflect changes to their business model. This necessity is also highlighted in the report along with the criticism that government response to flooding has been reactive rather than pro-active, resulting from too short time scales for meaningful, strategic planning.

Improving communications across all areas of local planning is also essential. Highlighting the potential for new developments to embrace these methods can only help mitigate against the effects of yet more impermeable roofs, roads and pavements contributing to localised surface flooding.

floodpic6

Source: BBC Berkshire.

Outfall Safari on the Hogsmill

ZSL and the Hogsmill Partnership are looking for volunteers to help us map polluted outfalls on the Hogsmill this October.

While walking the Hogsmill you may have noticed all the different pipes that can be found along the river bank. These pipes are usually part of our surface water infrastructure, transporting clean water from our roads and roofs into the river. However in some cases, these pipes or outfalls can be polluting the Hogsmill as they have been misconnected.

Polluted Outfall

Misconnections are a BIG issue for urban rivers and the Hogsmill Catchment Partnership have been working hard to start addressing this on the Hogsmill River.

A misconnection is when a toilet or washing machine has been connected to the surface water drain heading straight to the river, instead of the sewer system. You can read more about misconnections at on the Connect Right website.

Connect Right

This October, ZSL are running an Outfall Safari to map all these pipes heading into the Hogsmill, and assessing their condition to check for misconnections.

Volunteers will receive training on how to recognise signs of pollution at these outfalls and record the pipes on a new smartphone app. This survey data will greatly improve our understanding of the river system and help to target sources of pollution.

Interested?

If you would like to join the team, you can sign up on EventBrite to register your interest. Once you’ve registered, more information will be sent to you about where and when the training sessions will take place.

Sign Me Up!

For more information contact by email: Joe.Pecorelli@ZSL.org, or phone: 07974 725 557
Outfall BannerPlease register your interest to help at: hogsmilloutfalls.eventbrite.co.uk

You’ll need to read this before your training session: 2016-Pre-training-information-for-Hogsmill-Outfall-Safari-Volunteers..pdf

New London Wildlife Trust Project: Water for Wildlife

image001 (1)London Wildlife Trust have asked us to help spread the word about their new Water for Wildlife Project.

Water for Wildlife is a new four year project focusing on freshwater habitats and their species across London. Surveys will focus on dragonflies, damselflies (the Odonata) and their larvae, because these species provide a useful indicator of habitat changes – quickly recolonising restored waterbodies and relocating in response to climate change. Data collected will be collated into the first ever atlas of Odonata for London.

100 volunteers will receive training in surveying and monitoring. The site visits will depend on the amount of time you wish to dedicate to the project – a fortnightly visit to your local site would be great!

The training programme comprises three elements:

1. Identifying dragonflies and damselflies with Natural History Museum etymology expert Steve Brooks in collaboration with the British Dragonfly Society.
Crane Park Island on 2nd August 10.30-3pm or Woodberry Wetlands on 9th August 10.30-3pm

2. Why and how we monitor and survey freshwater habitats, London’s Odonata species, improving habitats and freshwater policy, led by Trust specialists.
Crane Park Island on 5th August 10.30-3pm or Woodberry Wetlands on 11th August 10.30-3pm

3. Practical sessions on freshwater habitat mapping.
Dates and locations to be confirmed.

Booking is essential. Please email the Water for Wildlife team at London Wildlife Trust or call 020 7261 0447 and tell us why you would like to be part of the team and which sessions you would prefer.

So if you’re interested – get in touch with them!

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.

The 2016 Hogsmill Forum

The Hogsmill River may have its problems, but it is one of the lucky urban rivers to have huge community support and many enthusiastic volunteers.

We run our Pollution Patrol on the Hogsmill, tracking down polluted outfalls and misconnections. While ZSL run the Riverfly Monitoring Initiative which uses the kick sampling of invertebrates to check for organic pollution.

So to thank everyone for their hard work, both projects combined for a joint Hogsmill Forum – kindly hosted by ZSL at London Zoo.

Hogs Forum

The event was a huge success with some really interesting discussions on the priorities for the Hogsmill going forward. Below you can download PDFs of the presentations.

Presentations:

 

The Beverley Brook Needs Your Vote!

Bags of HelpThe Beverley Brook Catchment Partnership have been successful in securing a Tesco grant from the Bags of Help fund – but we need your vote!

If you are shopping in the Sutton/Cheam area between now and Sunday 9th March, why not shop in a local Tesco store and give your vote to our project?

With your votes, we could get an extra £4000 to the project! The money will be used to make improvements to the Beverley Brook through Richmond Park following our recent restoration works. There will even be community planting days which you could get involved in.

So what are you waiting for, go vote for Project Two: Richmond Park River Enhancements!

Our Project

 

Happy Anniversary to the Hogsmill Pollution Patrol

Pollution on the HogsmillWith the start of 2016 comes the One Year Anniversary of our Hogsmill Pollution Patrol scheme – and what an amazing job it has done so far!

Throughout 2015, our trained volunteers have been monitoring 15 outfalls on the Hogsmill for signs of pollution such as misconnected appliances and sewage discharge.

Together they have submitted 470 reports of pollution to us. Working with the Environment Agency and Thames Water, we have been able to start investigating these issues and begin work towards rectifying them to improve water quality on the Hogsmill River.

To read the latest update of our work, please download our Newsletter below.

Pollution Newsletter December 2015

If you see pollution on your river, call the Environment Agency hotline on:

0800 80 70 60

Pollution

The Catchment Based Approach in action: Natural flood risk management in Stroud

When it comes to protecting communities from the worst impacts of natural disasters like the recent floods in Cumbria, York and Manchester, it’s easy to feel a little helpless in the face of global-scale influences like El Nino and the possible effects of climate change.

But as one of the warmest and wettest Decembers on record spills over into a grey and soggy January, and flood risk management continues to dominate the national conversation, here’s a fascinating case study that shows how local communities can use the Catchment Based Approach to make a real difference in their local area.

This video from Stroud District Council shows how residents are working with landowners further up the Frome catchment to slow the flow of heavy rainfall down these steep valleys, using natural materials to hold flood water back in the hills and preventing it from hitting vulnerable urban pinch-points all at once.

It’s a lot less expensive than many other heavy-engineering-and-dredging solutions to flood defence. And, as part of a community and catchment approach, it looks much more likely to succeed and be sustainable in the long term too…

New job at SERT delivering river restoration!

This position is now closed. 

A new opportunity has opened up to work with us in physical river restoration and delivery of catchment wide enhancements.

The scope of the position has now been expanded to allow applications at both Project Officer or Senior Project Officer level.

HackbridgeBefore  HackbridgeAfter

The job description can be found here: JobDescription_ProjectsOfficerSeniorProjectsOfficer_RR

And the application form here: Application_ProjectsOfficerOrSeniorProjectsOfficerRiverRestoration

To apply, please send your completed application form, together with a copy of your CV (2 pages max.) to jobs@southeastriverstrust.org before 9am on Tuesday 30th June 2015. Interviews will be held on Friday 3rd July. Second interviews, if held, will be on Wednesday 8th July 2015. 

 

Could you be our new Catchment Manager?

This position is now closed. 

We’re looking for an enthusiastic, natural leader with a good level of knowledge of river and catchment enhancement techniques.  The role will support new and existing partnerships across the SERT area, bringing people and organisations together to identify and discuss catchment issues and develop projects to tackle them.

Further details can be found here: CatchmentManager_JobDescription; and an application form here: CatchmentManagerApplication.  If you would like to apply, please submit your CV (2 pages maximum) together with a completed application form by 12 noon on Thursday 4th June 2015.