Brookmill Park River Clean Up and Park Litter Pick

Join the Friends of Brookmill Park for a weekend river clean up on Saturday 10th December.

This clean up will be led by local resident Samantha Dhedhi, NCFE qualified River Action Leader and Lawrence Beale Collins from the Healthy Rivers Project.

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL and details can be found at Brookmill Park River Clean Up and Park Litter Pick

#PlasticBlitz

Last month, the Rivers & People volunteers took part in The Thames and Tributaries ‘Plasticblitz’ week. This week of events was organised by Thames21, the Environment Agency and Rotary in the Valley (through their international End Plastic Soup campaign) to collate details on the amount and differing types of plastic pollution groups find across The Thames and it’s tributaries.

The Rivers & People group held a session at Brookmill Park where we cleared 6 bags of rubbish from the Ravensbourne River and it’s banks. A wide variety of litter was collected from plastic bottles to curtains. Our team collected 6 full bags of rubbish over a few hours and covered a stretch of river over 250 metres.

All of the data collected will feed into the EU-wide ‘Preventing Plastic Pollution’ Project.

Find out the overall results of the #PlasticBlitz HERE.

Come on an Outfall Safari and help us raise awareness about river pollution!

It is five years since we ran our first Outfall Safari along the Ravensbourne river catchment and it’s time to run another health check on our rivers. This is an opportunity for volunteers from Keston to Deptford, from Eltham to Sydenham, to join us and help identify pollution hotspots and raise public awareness around drainage misconnections that can harm our rivers.

The waterways of the Ravensbourne, Quaggy and Pool join the Thames at Deptford and, like all London’s rivers, they can be polluted by chemicals found in detergents, building material, paint etc and by sewage due to misconnected plumbing.  Pipes that lead into surface water drains, rather than into sewers, bring these pollutants into our rivers and impact the species that live in them.

While Thames Water and the Environment Agency monitor the river catchment and respond to pollution incidents, it is very hard to create a detailed map of all the troublesome outfalls that have, so far, remained under the radar. An Outfall Safari is the answer. 

Designed to be undertaken by local volunteers, an Outfall Safari requires no expertise beyond simple data collection, which is covered by our bespoke training in March, and keenness to take walks alongside our rivers. 

This is a short-term commitment: it will be run over a period of around one month (April 2022) and relies on lots of small teams of volunteers each doing as much or as little as they want.  One team member will record the observations of the group using a simple mobile App, and the uploaded data collected by all the teams will create a detailed picture of the current state of the catchment.

Outfall Safari training will be on Wednesday, March 30th from 10.30am to 12.30pm at the Althletics Hub meeting room in Sutcliffe Park Sports Centre, London SE7 5LW. Our trainer is Phoebe Shaw Stewart of the Zoological Society of London. Poster attached – training is of course free.

An Outfall Safari gathers valuable information.  Data from the App is mapped and passed on the Environment Agency and Thames Water.  And any severe pollution revealed can be investigated immediately by these agencies.  It is a proven method of checking on London’s rivers, already tested on the rivers Crane, Wandle, Hogsmill, Dollis Brook and many more. It relies fully on Citizen Scientists! Which could be you. Please contact us you’d like to take part. 

Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Plan

Ravensbourne Catchment plan front page
Ravensbourne Catchment plan

The River

The river Ravensbourne rises, 4 miles south of Bromley town centre at Caesar’s Well in Keston.  It then flows through the London Boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich where it then joins the River Thames at Deptford, where its 1/2 mile muddy tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek.  The Ravensbourne is 11 miles (17 km) in length with a total catchment area of 180 km2.

River Ravensbourne Catchment Map
River Ravensbourne Catchment Map

The Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Plan

The Catchment Improvement Plan was an initiative led by Thames 21 and supported by several partners, including Lewisham Council, to encourage those with an interest in their local rivers to express their views and have a say about the future of the River Pool, the River Quaggy and the River Ravensbourne. The project had a focus on getting local people more involved in their environment and help them to understand more about the rivers in their backyard. Following on from the two years of extensive consultation and the production of development document ‘The Vision’ in 2014, the Ravensbourne Catchment Partnership hosts Thames21 completed the Ravensbourne Catchment Plan in 2015.

What next?

Within the completed Plan is the Ravensbourne Project Schedule, which contains the main projects that are in progress, in planning or in development along the catchment. These projects are aimed at carrying on the great work that has gone before along the catchment such as the delivery of Sutcliffe Park, Chinbrook Meadows and Ladywell Fields regeneration projects, so that we can remove as much hard engineering as possible, create as many natural habitats as feasible and improve the public amenity value of our waterways without compromising our capacity in dealing with major rainfall events.

How you can help

The RCIG will continue to positively engage with the public by holding training days so that individuals can learn how to lead a river event or conduct water-quality testing. There is also an opportunity for your views to be raised at the RCIG meeting by contacting one of the RCIG partners.

However, if you feel your views are not represented by one of the existing partners please contact Lawrence Beale-Collins, the chair of the group, to discuss representing your group/organisation at the RCIG or to find other ways to become involved.

Rivers Ravensbourne
Rivers Ravensbourne

Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group

In 2012 Thames21 joined a range of partners from local community groups and charities to councils and government agencies to form the Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group (RCIG). This group is working to improve the rivers of the Ravensbourne Catchment for people and for wildlife.

The priority for the RCIG is to develop, promote and deliver the Vision and Catchment Plan for the Ravensbourne, Pool and Quaggy rivers.

The work of the RCIG is part of Defra and the Environment Agency’s  ‘catchment-based  approach‘(CaBA) to working with individuals and organisations that can make a difference to the health of England’s water environments. The catchment-based approach aims to deliver and raise awareness of the Water Framework Directive and what this means for our rivers, estuaries and coastal waters – which is EU legislation requiring improvements to water quality and the river environment.

Ravensbourne Catchment Improvement Group members

Thames21 is the RCIG ‘host’. Their role is to organise and coordinate the different members of the partnership, and drive Catchment Plan Project Schedule forward. Thames21 is also the initial contact point for any enquiries you may have.
Here is a list of RCIG partners:

Quaggy Waterways Action Group (QWAG)
London Wildlife Trust
LB Lewisham
LB Bromley
Royal Borough of Greenwich
LB Croydon
Thames21

The story of Ladywell Naiad

Earlier this month, the Story of the Ladywell Naiad was told over two nights, once in Manor Park and once in Ladywell Fields. Story teller Richard Neville delighted crowds with humorous tales while London Bubble Theatre  provided music and fun activities.

Follow #whatlivesinlewisham on Twitter and Instagram and find our hat lives in our Parks and imagination.

Nature Conservation Lewisham

Earlier this month, the Story of the Ladywell Naiad was told over two nights, once in Manor Park and once in Ladywell Fields.  Story teller Richard Neville delighted crowds with humorous tales while London Bubble Theatre  provided music and fun activities.

Follow #whatlivesinlewisham on Twitter and Instagram and find our hat lives in our Parks and imagination.

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