The April-June 2017 Nature’s programme is now available. There are plenty of exciting projects over the next few months, including the 3 Rivers Clean Up. As always, booking is essential for these sessions. If you are new to Nature’s Gym, take a look through our FAQ and How to Get Involved pages for more information. If there is anything that you are still unsure of, please feel free to email us any questions.
A merry bunch of eager volunteers from the Lewisham branch of DWP came out on a wade today as part of the 3 Rivers Clean Up. 16 of us waded from Ladywell Fields to Catford and managed to pull out 10 bags of rubbish, a bin and a trolley. The trolley came in very handy when we had to take all the rubbish back to base! A big thank you to all of the staff that came – we hope to see you again next year!
The 3 Rivers Clean up is a is a three-week long intensive annual volunteer campaign to improve the rivers Ravensbourne, Pool and Quaggy in South East London. Now in its eighth year, this unique 3 Rivers Clean Up partnership program has been highly successful in removing and preventing the spread of Himalayan Balsam and other species such as Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed, in the Ravensbourne River catchment. Removing invasive species is the main focus, however, the 3 Rivers Clean Up is a great opportunity to remove all the rubbish and debris that builds up within this urban river catchment.
We have made a few changes to the April-June 2016 programme. These changes have been based on the feedback we received from the volunteers and now include more information about each site and the objectives that we are working towards. We hope you like the new format, and welcome any comments you may have. For those of you wondering where the transport information is, we decided to remove this because we felt there was too much information on the old style programme that the actual task could be missed. Also a number of people tended to call us to ask where things were, so maybe missed this information anyway! We are planning to produce a document that has all the travel information for all the sites and this will be available soon.
The programme also includes some of the dates for this year’s 3 Rivers Clean Up which will be running from 11th June-2nd July. Please note that if you want to take part in these events, booking is essential, even for our regular volunteers.
As part of the 3 Rivers Clean Up the Nature’s Gym volunteers cleared part of the River Ravensbourne in Beckenham Place Park. Their work involved picking up litter and pulling up Himalayan Balsam. Himalayan Balsam is one of a number of invasive species that you can find along our rivers. This one however is easy to treat with willing volunteers! There is something quite special about wading in a river while dappled sunlight dances across the water! When you are down there you really would not guess that you are in an inner London Borough.
Along with a number of other local groups we run lots of rivers sessions throughout the year. This doesn’t always involved pulling Balsam, but if this is something that you would like to get involved in, please visit our Friends at the Rivers and People blog.
The video below, filmed with Tom Morgan of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust hows how to remove Himalayan balsam late in the season where it has been allowed to set seed. Himalayan balsam, a weed, is popular with bee keepers due to its high nectar content and late season flowering. However, research has shown it to negatively impact on native invertebrate abundance. The British Beekeepers Association advise that the plant is removed BEFORE it sets seed.
As part of this years 3RiversCleanUp London Bubble will be providing some entertainment through spoken word theatre and story telling. Following on from the successful event in Manor Park, they will again be taking you on an adventure through Ladywell Fields on 8 July 2015.
Hear about the Ladywell Naiad and other tales based on the species and creatures of Lewisham. Why not take part by taking a ‘species selfie’ using the #riversandpeople and #whatlivesinlewisham and post them on Twitter or Instgram
Please see attached the Nature’s Gym programme for July-September 2015. I hope there is something in there that you will enjoy!
Please be aware that there are quite a few sessions that involve wearing waders and working in the river. At these sessions, we can not guarantee that there will be any work available on dry land. If working in water isn’t something that you feel comfortable with, we understand if you would prefer to take a break for a while. We will welcome you back with open arms once the 3 Rivers Clean Up is over!
If you would like to join in with these rivers sessions, booking is essential even if you are a regular volunteer. There are other sessions running throughout the week with our partners. You can find details of these events at the 3 Rivers Clean Up website or Facebook page.
As part of the event London Bubble will be running two story telling events, one in Ladywell Fields and one in Manor Park. For more information about these events, please visit our earlier post. Join in as well using the hastag, #whatlivesinlewisham on Twitter and Instgram.