Government agency teams up with volunteers to clean River Wandle
Volunteers have teamed up with a government agency to help clean up the River Wandle.
The Environment Agency will be training staff and volunteers from the Wandle Trust allowing them to attend pollution incidents at the river, assess their severity and report them to the agency.
It is hoped the partnership will allow for a faster response to pollution incidents and help more sections of the river achieve a 'good ecological potential' status under the Water Framework Directive.
Wandle Trust volunteers will provide a first line of response to assess the situation and report back to the Environment Agency who will then take appropriate action.
Theo Pike, chairman of the Wandle Trust, said: "The Wandle Trust’s volunteers have been supporting the Environment Agency’s work on the Wandle for many years, so we’re delighted to announce this new opportunity to improve communication with the statutory authorities as the community’s eyes and ears on the river."
Previous work carried out by volunteers with the Wandle Trust have included weir notching and habitat creation at Three Arch Bridge in Morden Hall Park, weir removal and rock ramp installation in Ravensbury Park and eel pass installation at Merton Abbey Mills and Ravensbury Park.
Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency, said: "Working with community groups is crucial in ensuring the vitality of our rivers and waterways, and the Wandle Trust is a superb example of residents taking an active interest in the health of their local environment."
For information on the Wandle Trust's monthly clean up sessions, which take place on the second Sunday of each month, visit wandletrust.org
Pollution incidents can be reported to the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 807060.