Volunteers tackle the Frays River

Thames21 was contacted in the summer by Cheryl Austin an Uxbridge resident who was concerned about the section of the Fray’s River that runs along Fassnidge Park and Rockingham Rec. It was littered with rubbish from the road as well as from discarded trolleys and traffic cones.

In October, a group of 12 residents came together and gave their full support to an inaugural event to cleanup this stretch of the Fray’s River in Uxbridge. The event had support from Hillingdon Council with Councillor Judith Cooper attending to give her support to this community initiative.

The group managed to clean-up the river, walking the length of the 400m stretch wearing waders. This group picked rubbish up from the riverbed – including a rake head, a knife, 3 traffic cones, shopping trolleys a pair of shoes and an enormous banner from an event in July 2014. There was also lots of litter left from feeding bread to the water birds.

The group met again in November and have concentrated their efforts on improving the access along the towpath that borders Fassnidge Park. This path has been inaccessible for a long time and the residents wanted to see it used again.

During the autumn, Cheryl attended Thames21’s free Leading a Waterway Cleanup accredited course; with this training the aim is that the group will be able to coordinate themselves. In the spring there will be more locally run events… watch this space.
Thames21 has linked with the ColneCAN catchment while working in this area. So the group has also had support from the Groundwork Project Officer, Sandy Belloni who will be providing support and advice about non-native invasive species at the next events.

If you would like to get involved or see how the river in your area can be improved, please contact Emma at emma.harrington@thames21.org.uk