Volunteer Sessions in December

As usual, the Rivers & People volunteers have been busy keeping the rivers in Lewisham in good shape! A day of bramble bashing at the backwater in Ladywell Fields South took the brash line back by about 2 meters, which is great not only for regaining the visibility of the river but also protects the meadow area from any encroaching bramble! All the cut bramble was bundled and used in a brash pile within the nearby woodland.

Bramble Bashing in Ladywell Fields

Further upstream in the River Ravensbourne volunteer Donna cleared all the litter and fallen twigs from the Turning Tree sculpture in the channel, look at transformation below!

Turning Tree sculpture in Ladywell Fields

A river wade and litter pick also took place in the Manor House Gardens stretch of the River Quaggy, although chilly it was a fantastic day to be in the river!

River wade in Manor House Gardens

Volunteer Sessions in November

The Rivers & People volunteers have been all across the borough this month despite the very wet weather. The volunteer team have opened up one of ponds in Chinbrook Meadows, by cutting back some of the overhanging willows and removing the encroaching sedge and grasses. They also got into the River Quaggy to unblock the channel from a fallen tree, the bankside volunteers then used the bras cutting to create a habitat pile further into the woodland.

The team also visited Brookmill Park to do a quick kick sample for the Riverfly Monitoring Partnership. Although it is later in the year it was interesting to find a selection of freshwater invertebrates such as caddisfly larvae, leeches, freshwater hoglouse, mayfly nymphs. After our short sampling session the volunteers worked to clear a section of the overgrown bramble on the bank, so that any park visitors using the pathway can now see the River Ravensbourne. We only clear half the sections in winter to keep some coverage for birds to forage in whilst maintaining a view of the river.

As a pre-festive period treat, you should visit your local blue space and see the wildlife that’s about. Black headed gulls, kingfishers and grey wagtails are common sights in ponds and on the river around the borough. If you do spot anything please do share your sightings with @GlendaleLew as we’d love to know!