16th March 2020

Our river heroes take on the challenge….

This grey, but mild Sunday in March saw a strong team of 15 committed volunteers show up to help tackle the big problem of floating pennywort on the River Colne at Harmondsworth Moor.

There have been several teams working to remove as much of Floating Pennywort, a non-native invasive species (NNIS), as possible from this section of the river and this was the last session, in order to leave the river in a healthy state for the summer.  And what a difference all the groups have made, thank you!

The River Colne before volunteer work

The River Colne after volunteer work

Chloe our rivers manager and Jess and Anthony our new trainees, were supported well with a great team including three enthusiastic children, all giving up their time freely to help make a difference and really improve the health of this very important river.  Through the team’s efforts to remove this menacing species, oxygen and sunlight reaching the water will increase and silt will be reduced, which will allow wildlife to thrive and enhance biodiversity.  To find out more about the threat of Non-Native Invasive Species and our projects to tackle them click here.

On this day the volunteers removed 8 bags of rubbish and some of the last large sections of the Floating Pennywort, by literally dragging it out of the river.  We are so grateful to our volunteers for helping us with this big problem and are pleased they are enjoying the sessions and the word is spreading to get involved.

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Our river heroes take on the challenge….

We have a number of very committed members who turn up to lots of sessions and their experience and hard work is really helping to make our efforts far more successful.

Alan, Peter, Graham and other volunteers all really got stuck in, leading they way.  They have also been committed River Rangers for some time now.

Chloe our Rivers Manager

Anthony Conservation Trainee

Jess Conservation Trainee

Jean and David from Hayes

Jean and David from Hayes also come to our sessions regularly. They saw some local posters and have joined as River Rangers, as they wanted to improve their local area.

“we walk along the river regularly and thought it would be great to come and help look after it and keep it in the way it should be kept. That way we can all enjoy the river and our walks.  We really enjoy coming to the sessions, after all it’s a great reason to be active outside and to really help make a difference.”

Another regular family who come to volunteer is Anita and her son Kobei.

Anita tells us “we first came along to a river fly workshop ran by Chloe and Kobei loved it, he was so interested and inspired by what he learnt.  Ever since then he has been so keen to come along and get involved, he has a real bug now for helping the rivers to be healthy.  It is fantastic to see in children, after all they are the next generation who will need to be helping to protect the planet.”

We were delighted to welcome some new people, including Lily and Dean. Dean saw the local posters and wanted to find out more.

“I use this stretch of the river most days cycling to work, so it feels great to help improve it. I love the water and rivers and it is such a shame if they are neglected. I loved helping and it was great for my daughter Lily, to see us all working together for nature and why it is important.  She loved being outside and helping out.”

Anita and Kobei

Lily and Dean

Nicola, from West Drayton brought her husband and friends along after seeing the request for support on social media. They were keen to come along, help and learn more about the challenges. Nicola said she had been looking for a chance to help the local environment and it was a great opportunity to make a difference. The group all really got stuck in and made a great improvement.
It was great to see everyone have both an enjoyable and interesting time (as well as quite a good workout if wanted).

Thank you again to all our volunteers and our sponsor, Heathrow and Hillingdon Community Trust, we simply couldn’t do it without you!

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