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Stumps Hill pond at Beckenham Place Park gets some weevils!

A water fern called Azolla, originally from America has been spreading in the British Isles in recent years and has established itself in the pond at Beckenham Place Park. It is spread by wildfowl and spore dispersal and can quickly take over a pond, swamping the native vegetation and wildlife. It can develop a floating mat 30cm thick, which shades the sunlight from the water and chokes the pond. To control this invasive weed, weevils have been introduced into the pond that eat the Azolla. This should keep it under control and prevent it from taking over the pond. This is a safe natural way to control the weed without using harsh chemicals. To watch the video about the project, click the link below!

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World Wetlands Day with the Wildlife Trust

World Wetlands Day with Walthamstow Wetlands

Below are details of the Wildlife Trusts Wetland Day on the 2nd February, which is being hosted online over zoom:

The events are:
10:00 – Come and join guest speaker Ian Crump, Biodiversity Field Officer for Thames Water, for a talk about freshwater habitats, their management, uses as vital sources of supply and habitats for a wide range of species, to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2021
https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/events/2021-02-02-world-wetlands-day-freshwater-its-importance-people-and-wildlife-ian-crump

12:30 – Join Walthamstow Wetlands visitor engagement ranger, Pete, to explore the types of wetland around the world, the life they support, the ecosystem services they provide and why they are worth protecting and restoring.
https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/events/2021-02-02-world-wetlands-day-wetlands-world-pete-salter

15:00 – Join patch birder and volunteer, Daniel Whitelegg, to get an inside peek of the reserves seasonal comings and goings. Learn how important the reservoirs are for over 140 species and why they choose to spend their lives here. From the glamourous bearded tit to the ubiquitous but overlooked greylag goose. 
https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/events/2021-02-02-world-wetlands-day-birds-eye-view-wetlands-daniel-whitelegg

Click the links to sign up!

Happy Christmas from Rivers and People

This has been a strange old year for all of us, but I am pleased that we have still manged to get so much work done. We hope that we will be back to some sort of normality in the Spring and will be able to start taking bigger groups out. Thank you to everyone that has joined us on one of our sessions in 2020 – our rivers and banksides are all the better for your work! We look forward to seeing you all in 2021!

The Tweed Invasives Project

For those of you who have spent time with me and other volunteer groups in activities such as The 3 Rivers Clean Up clearing himalayan balsam know what great fun it is. You may wonder, however if it is all worthwhile? Of course we know it is because in Lewisham we have seen a huge reduction in the amount of HB in the years that we have been running the 3 Rivers Clean Up and other similar sessions.

The Tweed Invasives Project has been tackling invasive plant species in and around the River Tweed and its tributaries since 2002, when Giant Hogweed was identified as one of the biggest threats to the River.  Since then, they have added Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam to their list of invasives. With all this fantastic experience, they have produced a ‘best practice’ manual, The Tweed Invasives Project: 18 Years of Catchment-wide Control, which gives a detailed guide to delivering a long-term, catchment-scale invasives control programme.

It is a fantastic document highlighting all the different ways in which you can control these species. For those of you that only want to read about Himalayan balsam, you will find this from p24 onwards.

Rivers and People sessions cancelled

Due to the most recent advice from the UK Government and from Lewisham Council, we have decided to cancel the Rivers and People volunteering sessions and until further notice. I appreciate that you may be disappointed by this news, but in light of the current advice this we feel this is the best course of action. I will of course update you as advice changes.

Please let anyone know that you see who may not see this message

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Virtual Tour of Lewisham’s Rivers

There are a lot of wonderful volunteers out there who help keep our rivers clean, from the Friends of the River Pool to Nature’s Gym to Thames21. Part of the reason our rivers are so lovely, is down to this dedicated bunch of people. This is usually the time of year when we, along with a number of partners, would be great ready for the the 3 Rivers Clean Up. Unfortunately, with the way things are currently, we are not sure if this will be able to go ahead. This is a great shame because not only is it great fun, it is a lovely way to meet people and also get to see parts of the Borough you may not know about and experience from a new angle.  Thankfully, local resident and very active volunteer Lawrence is here to help. On his blog Mental Mapping he has created a ‘virtual tour’ of Lewisham’s Rivers.

Waiting to get in

The tour takes in the rivers Ravensbourne, Quaggy and Pool along with their associated tributaries. You will get an idea of the flora and geomorphology along the rivers along with the type of great work the volunteers do. 

Catchment Map

If you are keen to get involved in volunteering along the rivers, keep an eye out on the following blogs, where we will post updates information about events you’ll be able to take part in – hopefully in the not too distance future!

Rivers and People
3 Rivers Clean Up
Nature’s Gym
Thames 21
Friends of River Pool

Friends of Brookmill Park Talks

The Friends of Brookmill Park are putting on a series of really interesting talks on a number of environmental areas (Birds/Trees/ Flood mitigation etc).

Come along to informative talks on topics of local interest by outstanding speakers, kindly hosted by our friendly local – The Brookmill Pub.

When: Sunday evenings 6.30 for 6.45 start, finish 8.00
Tickets: £5.00 on the door
Location: The Brookmill Pub, 65 Cranbrook Road, SE8 4EJ

Please note talks take place in the upstairs room. Talks audio-recorded for anyone unable to use the stairs.
Proceeds go towards activities in the park.