Volunteer Sessions in March

March gave our volunteer team some kinder weather, which was particularly welcomed as we spent 3 weeks in Ladywell Fields (North Field) widening the secondary channel around the bridges. Since the works have been completed at the entrance to the secondary channel you can now see the channel filled with water everyday through the field. As this waterflow moves through the channel it naturally erodes areas of the banks where it is moving fastest and drops silt in the slower areas. This is a wonderful natural process to watch happening through the middle of the park. Our volunteers have managed to rework the meander by the middle bridge to reduce any erosion where the bridge is connected to the path, and to open up the inflow channel to the backwater located here.

Further south into the borough our volunteer team have been removing litter and being vigilant for invasive non-native plant species in the Manor Park section of the River Quaggy.

Thames21 WATERBLITZ [30th May 2023]

A WaterBlitz is a water sampling event that helps provide a snapshot of pollution issues across a river’s catchment area.

This event is for local people and citizen scientists to take water samples of points of interest to them across the Ravensbourne Catchment (which includes the Ravensbourne, Pool, Chaffinch Brook, The Beck, Quaggy, Kyd Brook) to identify ongoing pollution issues impacting the catchment’s water quality. This event will also be an important opportunity to sample areas in the catchment that generally have relatively good water quality to understand how poorer quality stretches of our rivers could perform throughout the catchment in the absence of pollution challenges.

There is booking page for people to sign up

Volunteer Sessions in February

February threw us some colder and wetter weather, which meant on some sessions we focused mainly on bank side work rather than being in the river channel itself. When the weather gave us some respite we spent a few sessions in Ladywell Fields litter-picking in the channel, we often find smaller items within the channel like cans, plastic bags etc. Sometimes we find much larger items, like the lime bike and building sign above. The wonderful volunteers managed to get these out of the channel then Glendale’s park cleansing team were able to take them away from the site.

Another of our projects in February was working on the main dipping pond and it’s channel at Chinbrook Meadows. Over time silt and leaf litter had filled up the inflow from the River Quaggy, so our team cleared a nice secondary channel that feeds into the pond under the boardwalk. Keeping water in this pond will allow for a wide variety of invertebrates (and a few vertebrates) to thrive in the standing water habitat, rather than the moving water from the River Quaggy.

Rivers & People April-June Programme

Spring and early summer is a great time to be in the river, and track how the banks change and flower as the seasons change. Why not join our Tuesday volunteer sessions? The volunteer session programme has now been released for April to June 2023. Check out the programme HERE. If you would like to get involved in volunteering on Lewisham’s rivers please read through the the River Volunteering web page, and if you have any questions or queries please get in touch with Emily.