January’s brook cleanup went very well.

A really big pile of wood, concrete, carpet, and assorted other rubbish

What a load of rubbish!

Yes, that’s just some of the rubbish we pulled out of the Brook last week.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the whole event, as I had a panto to get to.  This is the amount of rubbish we’d pulled out by the time I left at the tea break.

It was another fascinating session – I found this rather beautiful poison bottle and we’ve identified what we believe is the chassis of a truck.  I’d be very interested to hear from anyone who has any idea how those got into the Brook, and especially how the truck ended up staying there for so long.

After I left, the cleanup continued, and the volunteers also conducted an invertebrate survey.  “Most of the species that we found can tolerate polluted and dirty habitats,” Aimee confirms, “so unfortunately it’s not surprising that we found them there.  In a clean and healthy river we would expect to find many more different species of invertebrates, so here’s another indication that the Pymmes needs lots of help to be healthy. ”

After the cleanup, the volunteers and the Thames21 team went to The Bull for well-earned sandwiches and to come up with a plan of action.  They’ve come up with dozens of ideas to improve the area around the Brook, and to involve the local community.  I hope to bring you news of those as they develop – please sign up to my newsletter if you want to hear more.

The next step will be a meeting with local residents and Council Officers this Friday, 3rd Feb, at 11.30am at the Pymmes Park Visitor Centre. It will be a walk around the park, looking at the lake and river and talking about the pollution problems from which the lake suffers.  The next clean up event will be on Saturday 18th February from 10am – 1pm.

I took lots of photos of the cleanup, including a before-and-after for a patch I tidied, so please take a look at the full set and let me know what you think.