Posted Wednesday 13 March 2013
Kingston University students and staff, aided by local residents, waded in to clear litter from the Hogsmill River near Knights Park last week. Among the haul were piles of political flyers and undelivered free newspapers, carpet, an old vacuum cleaner and even a plastic severed foot complete with artificial blood.
The annual event is organised by the Estates Department at Kingston University. Landscape and biodiversity administrator Rachel Burgess said: "The Hogsmill is in an important habitat for wildlife and this is one of the ways in which we try to help. I was so impressed with all the volunteers - they weren't afraid of getting wet and mucky and they were very willing and full of energy. We also spotted two eels, which is great news as it means eels are still making it to this part of the river."
The University will be getting involved again this year in an eel monitoring project with the Zoological Society of London, Ms Burgess said. A critically endangered species, eels are monitored on rivers that feed into the Thames across London. "A specially-installed eel pass on the Hogsmill weir assists the fish in their journey upstream and capturing data on numbers found here is an important part of this conservation project," she said.
Investment and Financial Risk Management student Olubusola Awolaja attended the river clean up: "I took part because I wanted to help clean up the environment, help the eco-system and doing something for the community".