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MP joins local volunteers in river restoration

September 12, 2011 11:45 AM

Tom at the River Wandle restoration dayLast weekend, Tom Brake joined a group of around twenty local volunteers to take part in a restoration day on the River Wandle.

The group, organised by the Wandle Trust, spent the day carrying out restoration work in and along the banks of the river in Carshalton. They installed flow deflectors downstream of the three arches railway bridge to increase the diversity of riverbed structure and to improve the habitat for the fish and invertebrates living in the river.

Tom said: "It was great to have the chance to build on the work that the Trust has done in the Wandle. The river really is a landmark of our natural heritage here in Carshalton."

The stretch of the river between Grove Park and Butter Hill in particular was heavily modified for industry over many centuries. Back in July, the Trust removed a section of weir from the river to allow it to flow freely again and last weekend's work was just the next stage in its restoration. The Wandle was recently named by the Environmental Agency as one of the ten rivers in the UK which have most shrugged off their industrial past and improved in the last twenty years.

Much of this progress has been down to the work of the Trust, which since its foundation in 2001 has dedicated itself to restoring and maintaining the health of the river. The Trust organises biweekly community cleanup days at different points along the river, including one in Sutton, and also runs educational programmes in local schools across Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.

Theo Pike, Chairman of the Trustees for the Trust, added: "It's great to see our local MP getting his feet wet and working side by side with his constituents to restore the Wandle. After all the progress over the past twenty years, we need all the help we can get to keep it on its upward curve!"

If you would like to get involved with the Wandle Trust, or even just find out more about their work on the river, visit www.wandletrust.org or call 0845 092 0110.

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