Tooting life – The River Wandle

It is amazing what people do in their spare time.  Dressing in green rubber waders from the waist down, and a Stabilo yellow jacket from the waist up would not be my usual choice of attire on a Sunday afternoon, but this week-end many Wandsworth residents will be trying it for size.

The River Wandle is a unique South London chalkstream which flows north from Croydon and Carshalton to join the Thames at Wandsworth. In Victorian times, the Wandle was one of the hardest-working rivers in the world, with 90 mills along its 11 mile length. In the 1960’s, it was officially declared a sewer.  (from the Wandle Trust website.)

On the second Sunday of each month, the Wandle Trust run community clean-ups at various points on the river.  This Sunday they will be tackling a section of the river in Earlsfield, Wandsworth.  Not exactly Tooting admittedly, but it’s all connected.  They reckon they will remove 2 skips worth of rubbish from the river in 3 hours, which is pretty good going.

Author: Rachel Wheeley

Comedian, podcaster, based in London, UK

3 thoughts on “Tooting life – The River Wandle”

  1. My son and I go along to the Wandle clean-ups sometimes. It’s good fun, and really satisfying. There’s a regular crowd who organise it and they’re all really friendly. You get a break halfway through for tea and doughnuts or whatever someone’s brought along. It’s astonishing how much stuff there is at the end of the day: motorbikes, fridges, cookers, bikes, piles of it. It’s a bit depressing to think that people use the Wandle as a dustbin. If it was in Hampshire you’d have to pay a fortune to fish in it. But then seeing all that rubbish piled up and a pretty little river flowing past full of healthy brown trout cheers you up.

  2. Brilliant Blog, and not a sign of Bumpkiness anywhere.

    Where I live we have a community broom pull. I know it sounds naughty, but it is an invasive plant that legend has it was planted by a homesick Scot 100 years ago who thought the plant which he got in Hawaii reminded him of the Scottish heath.

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