MP praises the work of local conservationists

March 1, 2011 6:24 PM

Tom Brake paid tribute to the work of local environmental volunteers this week after spending a Sunday morning working with members of both the Wandle Trust and the Wild Trout Trust on a cleanup and restoration of the River Wandle in Carshalton.

Tom said: "There was a brilliant turnout of Wandle Trust and Wild Trout Trust volunteers on Sunday morning. We were treated to a great pep talk by Andy Thomas, the Conservation Officer of the Wild Trout Trust, about how to improve the Wandle river habitat. And then we got our hands dirty!"

More than thirty volunteers spent the day cleaning the river and creating a new habitat in preparation for the installation of a fish pass at the Butter Hill Mill to allow the river's wild Brown Trout to move into the newly created surroundings sometime over the next month.

The Wandle Trust is a local environmental charity which since its foundation in 2001 has been dedicated to restoring and maintaining the health of the River Wandle. The Trust organises monthly community cleanup days at different points along the river, including one in Sutton.

Theo Pike, the Chairman of Trustees for the Trust said: "This stretch of the upper River Wandle, from Grove Park to Butter Hill, has been heavily modified for industry over many centuries. Now we're putting the final elements in place to restore the habitat for wild Wandle trout at all stages of their life-cycle. The river's healthy, sustainable future depends completely upon local people caring for their river so it's great to get Wandle Trust volunteers involved."

In addition to practical work, the Trust runs an educational programme in local schools, 'Trout in the Classroom', which aims to increase awareness and appreciation for the river and its environment through hands-on pupil participation. This year, four schools in Sutton and a further three in Merton and Wandsworth are taking part.

Tom also praised the work of the Trust in the local area. He said: "The Trust is a magnificent example of grassroots volunteer work on a local level. They run both practical and educational projects, appealing to young and old alike, and attract a wide variety of people from different backgrounds."

If you would like to get involved in the work of the Wandle Trust, you can get more information by visiting the Trust's website at www.wandletrust.org, or by calling 0845 092 0110.

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