3Rivers Cleanup

Annual river campaign provides relief from 2012
3Rivers Cleanup preparations underway in South East London

Free, open volunteer events and family-friendly river activities

Saturday June 2 – Saturday June 23 in Greenwich, Croydon, Lewisham and Bromley

Amidst the bunting and balloons decorating the capital in the much-anticipated 2012, a dedicated group in London’s south east is quietly counting wellies in preparation for its annual river improvement campaign.

Residents are invited to get to know their local river in a series of watery adventures to help improve the rivers of Greenwich, Croydon, Lewisham and Bromley from June 2 – June 23.

The 3Rivers Cleanup is an annual, intensive series of events focusing on the Pool, the Quaggy and the Ravensbourne rivers, in a unique and growing partnership between the Environment Agency, environmental groups and local authorities.

3Rivers Cleanup chair Vic Richardson said: ‘This is a great opportunity for people to discover their local rivers and enjoy this very often missed amenity’.

Quaggy Waterways Action group chair Paul de Zylva said ‘The 3 Rivers Clean Up is a proven example of people improving their local environment. It’s like an annual MOT of our rivers. People love getting in to the local rivers to help keep them clean and free of invasive plants that can crowd out more native British wildlife. And it’s a fresh way to get to know the local area instead of only seeing rivers from a train or the top of a bus.’

Hundreds of volunteers are expected to take part in the family-friendly river based activities, which include walks, river dipping, Himalayan balsam removal, litter-picking, and habitat improvement events.

Last year 431 volunteers got involved, helping to remove vast quantities of Himalayan balsam, though only 10 per cent of the previous year’s total, highlighting the success the project has had in eradicating this non-native invasive species. This success means that this year’s campaign can focus more on family-friendly activities and novel ways to enjoy South East London’s varied rivers.

The project seeks to encourage people to discover, learn about and take pride in their local rivers, helping to connect people to these valuable spaces in a safe and inclusive way. No experience is necessary and these events are suitable for all ages and abilities. All equipment is provided.

For the full calendar of events or for more information, see: http://www.3riverscleanup.co.uk/ or contact Jess Kyle 020 8314 2119


Media quotes, interviews and images contact:  Vic Richardson 07973 442 219 vic.richardson@thames21.org.uk

Pictures of the event are available to view and download for media use www.flickr.com/photos/3rcu/

Notes to Editors:

 ·         Partners of the 3riverscleanup Quaggy Waterways Action Group, Thames21, Environment Agency, Glendale Grounds Maintenance, London Borough of Lewisham, London Borough of Bromley, London Borough of Greenwich, London Borough of Croydon, Nature’s Gym, Schools in the Park (Field Studies Council), London Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the Big Lottery Fund.

·         Himalayan balsam is an invasive non-native plant which spreads quickly, clogging up river banks and reducing biodiversity. It shades and crowds native species and causes riverbank erosion, leading to an increase in the risk of flooding.

·         For more information on non-native species see: https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies