On the last Sunday of September each year, it’s customary for the Wandle Piscators to show our favourite urban chalkstream a little extra love as part of the global festival of World Rivers Day.

In previous years we’ve cleared invasive species, installed flow deflectors and coir rolls – and once or twice we’ve just gone fishing to celebrate another year’s successes monitoring and improving the health of the Wandle.

For 2012’s celebrations we decided to combine these approaches on the upper river. Will broke out his customised leaf blower to start blasting silt out of the spawning gravels ahead of this year’s trout spawning season…

… while the rest of us grabbed bags to fill with water-borne litter (and other foreign objects) between Hackbridge and Grove Park.

Floating pennywort clearance and a little light coppicing were also represented, after which we all restored ourselves with slices of Jo’s most excellent sultana cake

… and some of us spent the afternoon fishing!

Many thanks to Adrian, Jez, Jo, Peter, Steve, Theo and Will, as well as Sutton Council for collecting piles of rubbish at Restmor Way and Paper Mill Close.

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