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Students learn about the solution to pollution on the West Wickham Commons
Last month, Year 3 students from the Wickham Common Primary School visited West Wickham Common on a pollution walk; The students were taken around the Common looking at the various types of pollution that they might encounter. As a natural space on the edge of London, there are many ways that pollution affects both people and wildlife, from loud traffic noise to litter dropped by visitors. The students had some excellent questions and were eager to learn more about how they can help!
Helping to keep the Commons litter free is something everyone can achieve. Whilst the Rangers try to get round the busiest paths across the week and over the weekends, much litter is also removed by volunteers, who generously give up their time to keep the sites clean for everyone.
We regularly pick up the binged takeaway dinners, discarded drink cans and errant coffee cups from familiar chains as well as wayward wet wipes – one of the worst culprits. Given that most people come to these open spaces to enjoy the view and natural landscape, it is a shame that people don’t give the respect back to the sites that they deserve. Even though most people do take their litter home, the minority are out there and are likely people we might even know. As individuals, we can all help by:Taking whatever you brought with you (leaving no trace of your visit)Bringing a rubbish bag and recycling your wasteNot leaving food (including fruit peelings) as this attracts pests/is harmful to wildlifeCalling out littering with those you know (We are social creatures after all and hate social disapproval)Supporting national schemes like CPRE or Keep Britain Tidy and campaigning for changes to policiesChecking to see waste licenses from waste removal companies, builders and gardeners (Unlicensed contractors are more likely to dump your waste somewhere they shouldn’t)
Bramble bashing around the earthworks
The WWaSP’s were busy in June doing a slightly different task to the fencing repairs that have been going on since the spring. On West Wickham Common, the volunteers cleared some of the brambles and scrub that had started to encroach on the main heathland area by the earthworks. There are often years when vegetation grows differently and clearly this year the bramble growth has been phenomenal! The group were able to knock back the thick mass of bramble whilst other volunteers were tree popping young birch. The area is kept open to avoid trees damaging the earthworks and to maintain the low-growing heathland habitat that is characteristic of the Common. Rangers have been following up the volunteer work by removing bracken, another plant that seems to be thriving this year due to the wet and warm weather!
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The City of London Corporation has seven green spaces in South London and Surrey covered by three charities: Ashtead Common, Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons. Each charity has its own Newsletter and you can now:
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