The 3 Rivers clean up is an annual, 3 week long opportunity for volunteering in the Ravensbourne catchment. This year around 300 volunteers took part in this year’s river clean up; it was three weeks of pretty hard work removing rubbish, Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed.
The numbers of balsam plants removed from the rivers Quaggy, Pool and Ravensbourne reached 6,500, a huge increase on 2014. Forests of the plant were recorded upstream of Manor House Gardens, downstream of Manor Park and all along Brookmill Park in Deptford. Numbers of giant hogweed were down during the event to 317 mostly due to Thames21 and Lewisham Borough staff tackling this invasive early, during April and May, when it first appears. Giant hogweed has been receiving a good deal of publicity this summer, due to a number of cases of people had come into contact with this poisonous plant, and we at Thames21 will continue to inform the public of the dangers of coming into contact with the species.
It wasn’t all hard work though, we had plenty of opportunities for young people to get involved with some river dipping to learn about their local riparian environment.
Here at Thames21 we are also scouting around the river catchment looking at sites for Sustainable Drainage projects with the Envirnonment Agency in a bid to improve the water quality and address some long-standing problems that damage the river.
For more information please contact the Catchment Partnership Officer Lawrence Beale Collins on 07584 172 209