BRaVE Volunteers Helping the River Brent

Blog Category: Campaign update, General update and Volunteer opportunityBlog Tags: Health & Wellbeing, Clean Environment and Wildlife & Conservation

  • Profile

    On 30 November 2019, the third event of the series happened at Quainton Street Open Space. It was a frosty day, with a thin layer of ice on vegetation and grass, but as the day went on the ice melted, and the sun shone beautifully in the sky.

    We had a mixed group of BRaVE* volunteers, many of them kids and local residents that gave their best to make the River Brent better and heathier.

    This time we aimed at constructing a dead hedge using materials generated from clearing views to the river channel, removing undergrowth and unsightly rubbish. Some of the woody material we saved for enhancements in the river channel to be installed during the activities planned for 2020.

    We should be aware that diverse habitats are directly linked to biodiversity. But unfortunately, we can see that the River Brent is under threat, and historic engineering of the river channel is a major cause of habitat loss in many parts of the River Brent catchment. By removing the toe board (reinforcement at the bank toe) in locations where it is not needed, and installing wood to the river we can help habitat recovery and revert this situation.

    Another aim of the day was to continue the clearing of litter from the park area, but we went further down into the river and managed to remove large quantities of litter from a tree trunk that is presently attached to the river bed acting as a ‘natural trash screen’.

    Along the path we found a hotspot, full of building materials and pieces of furniture. A volunteer said: “Well, I could build a house for myself and furnish it, just using what we found near the river here”.

    Further down, when venturing among the bushes, we came across a hut made of towels and tarps. There was no one there, but we could see it has been used recently as a shelter. This heart-breaking scene made one of the volunteers wonder how it can be brutal for someone to sleep in this cold conditions, and we talked about it…

    At 2.30pm sharp we wrapped up to go, and the aftermath was: 40 full black bags of litter, 1 mattress, 2 chairs, a kid’s bike, many pieces of furniture, two shopping trolleys, and many building materials.

    Other peculiar items were collected on the day too: a safe with the key in it, a funny fancy doll, and a fridge-freezer!

    The event ended with the desire from everyone to do more for the environment, and for people.

    Come join us in the next events that will happen in January and February 2020.

    Your River Brent needs you!

    *Brent Rivers and Valleys Environment = BRaVE (I’ve been using for BRaVE Citizen Science, but equally can be for BRaVE volunteers! J )

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WRITTEN BY

Carolina Pinto