Rescuing Reading’s Rivers in the Rain

The first event of the Reading section of the Non-Tidal Thames section looked like it was going to have a very strong start with volunteers from the University of Reading coming out in force. Unfortunately the weather was against, the rain was very heavy, almost heavy enough to consider cancelling the event when myself and Luke Damerum, Non-Tidal Thames Officer arrived at the event location on Sunday. Amazingly 4 volunteers still turned up demonstrating their empathy towards conserving the waterways!

We were clearing out some of the floating litter and weeds to increase the flow of the Gosbrook, a small watercourse channel emerging and going back into the Thames located at Christchurch Meadows.

The goal was to increase the flow of the watercourse consequently increasing potential for more biodiversity.

The volunteers were amazing and demonstrated a very good understanding of what we were doing and why. I am hoping some of these volunteers will become Event Support Team members for other community events in the future.

Future events will include tree and bird identification, pond dipping, vegetation management, dead hedging as well as cleaning up some of the litter along the way. Many of the people signed up for the event in Reading may also wish to attend Thames21 ‘Leading a Waterways Clean Up’ training courses so the volunteers can learn a comprehensive set of skills tailored for what Thames21 facilitate.

Many locals stopped and asked what we were doing and why. One of those was a member of Caversham Globe; an organisation which has helped with environmental clean ups in Reading before and I’m glad to say that they will be helping in the future for the Rescue Reading events taking place in March. I am really going to enjoy working with a wide range of volunteers in Reading!

Hopefully the weather will be kinder to us for future events.

Billy Coburn, Hillingdon Project Officer