Djokovic 1 – Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers 57 and a table leg

An extremely successful river clean-up took place on Sunday 14th July thanks to the hugely dedicated efforts of 12 volunteers, supported by Billy Coburn from Thames21.  With 3 land-army pickers and 9 merfolk, we managed to collect 57 bags of mainly plastic litter, a large table leg, a sizeable laminate floor underlay and 4 pallets.  The latter will remain on site above the floodline to provide a skyscraper for bugs.

Continue reading “Djokovic 1 – Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers 57 and a table leg”

An Update on Eels in the River Brent

From Lucy Shuker, Brent Catchment Partnership Development Manager,Thames21

Many thanks indeed to the Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers for keeping up the fantastic clean-up work and for keeping us in the loop.
I am so excited to have the eel pass and monitoring station being installed by ZSL on the Costons gauging weir and to find out how many make it up to the pass when monitoring begins.
Meanwhile, the invertebrate / riverfly monitoring is revealing more variety than expected, even downstream of the Costons Brook confluence and associated inflows of periodically polluted waters.
It’s really good to see how activities by the GGGs and Thames21 are coordinating. Hopefully Ealing Parks Team will soon have the container in place for you to store your own equipment. I hope the Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers will enjoy getting involved in putting in the river enhancements too when those events happen. The habitat improvements will be really beneficial for the eels and fish helped over the weir by the ZSL pass and EA baffles, which will hopefully be in place soon too.

Museum of London Docklands – Secret Rivers Exhibition

The Secret Rivers exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands is on now and will be continuing till October.  It’s very much worth a visit for those interested in the many rivers that have been wholly or partially lost.  Our own River Brent running through Perivale Park appears on the large map at the entrance but the focus of the exhibition is those rivers that became sewers and were then filled in and built over.  It’s just a pity that Costons Brook doesn’t feature on the map!  The nearest station to the Museum is Westferry on the DLR.

FOG and the River Brent through Perivale Park

In the course of our recent river clean-up opposite Brentside School, we experienced the full effects of FOG (fat, oil and grease) and understood something further about the role of dead vegetation in the river.  Two sets of waders and a kayak were coated in a white, almost impossible-to-remove grease after being in the thick of it both near and in one case, in, a raft of assorted dead vegetation jammed up behind a fallen tree.  The plastic litter we were after had accumulated on top of this raft and in order to access it, we had to break up the vegetation with rakes.  This is when we released the hitherto-hidden FOG lurking there.  So, the raft, which was between 2 foot and 5 foot in depth, was acting as a highly successful filter trap keeping the FOG in one manageable place.  The question now is how the FOG should best be extracted from such a trap so that the vegetation can continue to act as a trap without getting entirely clogged up?  Suggestions welcome! It also begs the question of how the FOG got into the river in the first place. Misconnections? The practice of pouring fat, oil and grease down the plughole in the kitchen sink, down the toilet and even directly into the river? How can we best educate/litigate to prevent these practices altogether? Again, all suggestions are welcome. One thing is sure: we need to stop FOG-tipping.

Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers April Event

The next clean-up on the River Brent is taking place this Sunday 14th April starting at 1pm.  This event is suitable for all because it will consist of river bank litter-picking as well as in-channel work in waders to clear a large litter-berg which has built up behind a fallen tree.  So, gentle tasks as well as challenging ones – chacun à son goût.  But please don’t take the ‘goût’ too far – the water isn’t drinkable!

Continue reading “Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers April Event”