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  • Writer's pictureRae Gellel

Second Major Clean Up of Polluted Lake at Woolwich Dockyard

An absolutely amazing turn out for the clean up of the second lake at King Henry's Docks in Woolwich today, with some volunteers coming from as far away as Newham and Notting Hill to help out!

We of course all adhered to social distancing guidelines, by dividing into small groups that worked independently.

Once again we removed twenty sacks of litter in total, including an absolutely huge quantity of discarded fishing line from around the lakes, which is extremely hazardous to wildlife. This will be sent to the Angling Trust for recycling, as it will continue to cause harm if sent to landfill.

We also rescued a sick juvenile gull caught in fishing line who was huddled by the lake, and removed the remaining dead fish from the water. Thankfully, there were nowhere near as many in this lake, and two gentlemen who formerly fished at the lakes had begun the hard work of removing them before we'd even arrived, so thank you to them.

Lastly, we put up a few signs urging the passing public and anyone continuing to fish at the lake to dispose of their litter responsibly. We hope to return to put up some more in the future and also to keep an eye on the area to prevent the rubbish creeping back.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended, the lakes look transformed. Hopefully, our efforts will help protect our waterways from plastic and our wildlife from the harm caused by litter, whilst also improving water quality at the lake until a more permanent solution can be put in place.

Also a very big thank you to Derrick who continues to litter-pick at the age of 84, who burned a wheelie bin full of dead fish for us last week, and who transported our rubbish bags via his mobility scooter today!

There is a particularly rubbish-strewn bank of the Thames in Woolwich which is home to a pair of swans that we desperately want to clear also, so please watch this space. If you're interested in taking part in regular local litter picks, please join The Royal Arsenal 5k Clean up and email the council at to get a free litter picking kit.

Read about part one of our lake cleaning effort here;

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