Getting our hands dirty

While we do plenty of campaigning, reviewing planning documents and applying for funding, the friends of the river aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty (and feet wet!)

Every year we carry out litter picks, invasive species clearing, citizen science events and more. Here’s a snapshot of what we get up to.

Bashing the balsam

It might look pretty but invasive Himalayan balsam is a big problem along UK waterways. It crowds out all other plants reducing diversity and harming ecosystems. That’s why each year a team gather to clear as much of it as possible around the river.

In 2019 we were delighted to receive a grant of £300 from the Mayor’s Fund to buy waders in a range of sizes to help our volunteers stay dry while balsam bashing.

A photo of people clearing invasive Himalyan balsam

River Cleaning and litter picking

Whether it’s through littering or dumping, sadly all sorts of junk ends up in our lovely river. That’s why we regularly do stints pulling out all sorts of rubbish.

A photo of three men pulling debris from a river
Richard Grey, Dan Lupton and Simon Hicks do battle with a shopping trolley.

A summer 2019 haul saw our tough volunteers remove five shopping trolleys, six bicycles, a large radiator, a kitchen bench and a lot of odd bits of metal and wood. Oh, and a six piece dinner service!

A photo of people with lots of metal debris.
River Cleaning at Adderwell 24 July 2021

Remember, if you’d like to help us with practical projects we can always do with the help! Get in touch by emailing Simon, who manages volunteering.