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Project information

The Big Community Cleanup

The big idea is to get local people to come along to the River Wandle in South West London once a month for a year, get into the water and help pull out rubbish

January 2011 - December 2011

Charity information: Wandle Trust

Wandle Trust logo
  • Need


    We are trying to solve the problem of persistent rubbish dumping in the river Wandle and the threat of the rubbish on wildlife.

    The Wandle flows through south west London and enters the Thames at Wandsworth. It runs through an urban catchment of at least 750,000 people. Some of those people dump their rubbish into the river. By bringing together up to 90 volunteers once a month, and with the support of borough waste management teams, we can remove this rubbish.


    No single statutory organisation is responsible for removing rubbish from rivers unless it poses a flood risk. Our project will give local people a hands-on opportunity to do something to improve their local waterway and the open spaces that surround it. By using volunteers, the rubbish will be removed which will benefit the wildlife in it and around it. A cleaner river and environment will give other local people the chance to enjoy the river as they walk, jog and cycle along it.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We aim to remove rubbish from the river Wandle


    » We will organise cleanup events once a month over the course of a year, during which volunteers will remove rubbish from the river

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by the tonnes of rubbish taken away by local waste management teams

    Aim 2

    We aim to give local people a hands-on opportunity to look after their environment


    » We will publicise and run a monthly cleanup, having carried out a risk assessment, and give a health and safety briefing to our volunteers beforehand

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by an increasing number of people who will turn up at our cleanups and help remove rubbish

    Aim 3

    We aim to help local people improve and protect their local waterway


    » We will raise awareness of cleanup events to attract more volunteers. We will provide the appropriate equipment to help them cleanup the river

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by a steady number of volunteers turning up at our cleanups, adhering to the H&S briefing, and using the equipment we will provide to help them cleanup

    Aim 4

    We aim to encourage future generations continue to cleanup the river


    » We will involve young people in our cleanup activities and in our Trout in the Classroom Project which teaches them the value of a healthy river

    What success will look like

    Success will be demonstrated by parents bringing their children to cleanups and getting them involved in removing rubbish from the river.

  • Impact


    Our project will prove that as a result of our cleanups, this chalkstream will once again bear all the hallmarks of some of its rural contemporaries – gin-clear water, natural banks, meandering stretches, a teeming population of invertebrate and other wildlife and the return of iconic species living on its banks and along its length.


    The risks affecting this project are possible accidents involving volunteers working in and around the river. We have dealth with these risks by carrying out comprehensive risk assessments and delivering a health & safety briefing to all our volunteers before each event.


    We will report to donors via our website and our newsletter – Wandle News – which is published twice a year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,800

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £960 Van hire Hiring a van for the event
      £600 insurance personal accident and public liability
      £550 storage our kit is stored locally
      £890 kit purchase & repair
      £600 refreshment volunteer recognition
      £1,200 HR staffing the event
  • Background


    River cleanups will take place in the Wandle Valley in the London Boroughs of Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth. .


    The local people of the Wandle Valley; the wildlife that currently reside in and around the river. The catchment population is more than 750,000; there are many people of differing social backgrounds along the Wandle; the Wandle has had a rich industrial heritage over the centuries, and it was declared a sewer in the 1970s. Now the river is recovering and events like ours will help

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Wandle Trust already has experience in carrying out monthly river cleanups, and has invested some of its reserves and lots of its time in organising these events and providing equipment that enables volunteers to help improve and protect their local river for themselves and wildlife alike.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Erica Evans - Volunteer

    Erica will organise all the events on a voluntary basis . Her dedication is key to us delivering this project.

    Andy Bolgar - Volunteer

    Andy will identify sites for cleanups, he will wade the sites beforehand for the risk assessment and help load up the van on the day

    Sally Pike - Volunteer

    Sally will cater each event - refreshments will be provided by us for our volunteers - we know it's important to recognise and reward our volunteers

    Joanne Storry

    Joanne will cater each event - refreshments will be provided by us for our volunteers - we know it's important to recognise and reward our volunteers