The first 3RCU took place in 2008 with the main aim to control the growth of Himalayan Balsam along the rivers. Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native plant that spreads quickly, clogging up river banks and reducing biodiversity. It shades and crowds native species and causes riverbank erosion, leading to an increase in the risk of flooding.
Now in its ninth year the 3RCU has largely brought the Himalayan Balsam under control. This success has given partners more time to focus on other activities to restore rivers to attract wildlife. It has also allowed volunteers the chance to discover, learn about and enjoy their rivers, and to take pride and ownership of them.
The project now has a new blog with lots of information about the project and how you can get involved. We would love to see you at one of our events, so keep an eye out of the next few weeks for more details about exact dates and locations.
In the meantime there are a number of ways in which you can contact the 3 Rivers Clean Up partnership. For individual organisations involved please see the Partners Page. Alternatively you can email the organising team, visit their Facebook page or even send them a tweet.
The January – March 2017 RBSM programme is now available. If you are new to the River Bankside Sessions, please check out our How to get Involved, FAQ and River Volunteering pages where hopefully you will find all the information that you need. If after reading this you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us. You can also read a little about the team that you’ll be working with.
We’re writing to invite you to sign up for training for an exciting new volunteering opportunity – the Ravensbourne River Monitoring Initiative (RMI).
Are you a Citizen Scientist in the making, fascinated by the wriggly creatures that anchor the ecology of a healthy river? Would you like to learn and apply simple sampling techniques to monitor these invertebrates? Are you prepared to commit to doing this regularly, to provide a continuous picture?
Our local rivers – sometimes invisible or channelled into concrete, elsewhere happily restored – form the Ravensbourne Catchment. The Ravensbourne, Quaggy and Pool rivers capture nature’s water and move it to the sea via the Thames at Deptford.
RMI is a proven method of checking on our rivers, already used elsewhere in London and the UK. We are organising an RMI training day in southeast London on Saturday 21st May 2016. It will be run by Joe Pecorelli of the Zoological Society of London. Volunteers need to be fit enough to stand in or near a river regularly and be prepared to work in a small team.
We’ve both had this training and are keen to start up an RMI scheme on the Ravensbourne Catchment. RMI can flag up pollution, reveal ecological variety, and raise public awareness around rivers. And it’s welly good fun!
We are happy to answer any questions and to speak informally to local groups. Please see the attached flyer for details of the training day.