On Saturday 11th October, Thames Water’s Crossness Nature Reserve and Crossness Sewage Treatment Works hosted lots of Rainbows, Brownies and Girl guides groups from across the Bexley borough.
As the first borough to receive our rolling metering programme, we thought it was important to engage with our younger stakeholders to learn about water efficiency, and to learn about our Bin It – Don’t Block It campaign where we encourage responsible use of drains, requesting that residents do not put anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilets (including the supposedly ‘flushable’ moist wipes) and do not put fat down the sink which creates blockages in the form of the famed ‘fatbergs.’
The younger audiences (Rainbows and Brownies, aged 5-10) received tours of Crossness Nature Reserve, where they were able to see, and hear about, the newly extended Sewage Treatment Works from the top-storey of the bird hide; see the Crossness outfall and the Protected Area of the reserve. As well as learning about the importance of the reserve for its flora and fauna, they learned about how it is possible to measure water quality biologically by looking at the species diversity and abundance in rivers, ponds and ditches.
The Girl guide groups were treated to full tours of Crossness STW – one of Europe’s largest Sewage Treatment Works, and they learned about the processes in place to deal with sewage in a fun and engaging way.
A fantastic space was hired at The Link Thamesmead (containing a climbing wall!!), where all groups undertook a variety of fun, but educational, games and exercises designed by Thames Water’s Water Efficiency team.
The H2O 4 Life partnership with Girlguiding has been short-listed in this year’s Sustainability Leaders Awards in the Stakeholder Engagement category. We will know if we have picked up an award at the Awards ceremony on 19th November (World Toilet Day!!).
We got so many young people attending on the day, that it was a bit of a whistle-stop tour of all areas.
The Rainbows and Brownies groups are arranging return visits to the nature reserve so that they can see more of the site, and so that they can have a go at pond-dipping, mini-beasting and other wildlife-based activities.
Karen Sutton. Reserve Manager.