More than 100 days

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    On Saturday- 4th of July 2020, Thames21 joined dedicated local volunteers to pull some Himalayan balsam from the banks of the river Brent.

    We experienced the freedom, the sensation to be back in the river, to be doing something to help the river once again, to meet up in person (with the 2m distancing rule in place).

    Although it had been more than 100 days since the beginning of lockdown, it did not feel like that long ago since we last been to Quainton Street Open Space.

    This time we were a small group of 4, but managed to do a lot, to tackle a patch of Himalayan balsam and to also to collect a lot of litter from the river banks: beer cans, bottles and also PPE (gloves and masks).

    In the end, we had a nice chat to evaluate the event, the site, and health and safety, and some of the comments included:

    “I felt safe and very looked after as well.”

    “What was interesting is that because of lockdown, and the space we had been working on previously, we did not know what happened there during the COVID lockdown.  The safety, the amount of litter we would find, we were not sure of what was going to be there. It looks like people took advantage of the space during lockdown, both in a positive way by using it to exercise, but also of not being watched and monitored. The place was very littered.”

    “We enjoyed being outside, in contact with nature, to breath fresh air!”

    “We love the river Brent and the work Thames21 is doing, I will definitely join again!”

    The next steps of the Restoring Brent Rivers and Communities are to continue to clean the river channel and banks, to manage vegetation, and to start the river restoration action as soon as the permits are in place (expected for September 2020).

    Join us next time, and help us to do more for the River Brent. With the new government guidelines on COVID-19 safety, we might be able to have up to 30 people next time.

    The next event is scheduled for the 28th July at 10.30am.

    Your River Brent needs you!

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Carolina Pinto