FotS it all about ? – a brief history of looking after Bexley’s little river.

Friends of the Shuttle (FotS) was formed in March 2013. For two years previous to this, dedicated volunteers had been working hard to keep the River Shuttle free of litter as part of a Thames21 project that was funded by Cory Environmental Trust.

When the funding for this project, led by T21 riverkeeper, Joanne Bradley came to an end, the volunteers were determined to carry on caring for Bexley’s little river. Joanne encouraged four of these volunteers to take Thames21 training to learn how to lead a waterway clean up and sourced some kit for the volunteers to carry on their good work on the river.

And so Friends of the Shuttle was born! A group of volunteers, led by volunteers, keen to conserve and promote the wildlife and biodiversity of the River Shuttle and to give people a chance to get involved in some good work in their local community.

FotS volunteers meet twice a month at various points along the river to clear litter from the channel and keep it clear for wildlife and for those who enjoy walking along its banks. But FotS are involved in more than just litter picking. Their important work also includes river enhancements, wildlife walks and surveying, removal of invasive species and talking to the general public about what the River Shuttle has to offer.

The outcome of River Shuttle habitat enhancements can be seen in Marlborough Park. (Photo: Chris Rose)

The outcome of River Shuttle habitat enhancements can be seen in Marlborough Park. (Photo: Chris Rose)

Volunteers are able to learn new practical skills, see a part of Bexley borough that they may not have yet discovered, enjoy some fresh air and exercise, and all in the company of very friendly, like-minded people. There is of course always the promise of tea and biscuits at the end of every event, an essential element of all conservation work.

For more information and to sign up to one of our events please contact us at friends.of.the.shuttle@gmail.com

Purple Loosestrife, Gypsywort, grasses and sedges fringe the Shuttle in Marlborough Park (Photo: Chris Rose)

Purple Loosestrife, Gypsywort, grasses and sedges fringe the Shuttle in Marlborough Park (Photo: Chris Rose)

 

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