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!