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  • Writer's pictureRae Gellel

Twenty Bags of Litter and Countless Dead Fish Cleared Away from Woolwich Dockyard Lake

Updated: May 13, 2021

Volunteers from the Greenwich Wildlife Network and The Royal Arsenal 5k Clean up removed approximately twenty bags of litter from the lakes at King Henry's Docks today.

We also cleared the bodies of between 40-60 dead fish and at least 3 eels (which are one of the UK's most endangered species) from the worst affected lake. It was not a job for the faint-hearted - the smell of rotting fish was unbelievable and by the end of the clean up, we all absolutely reeked. All of the dead fish that were seen gasping at the surface of the lake several weeks ago now appear to be dead. It's so frustrating that nothing was done in time to help them. We didn't actually see any fish alive at all in the hours that we were there.

Such a mammoth clean up effort is needed in the area that we unfortunately only managed to clear the one lake today.

The other one is in a similar position, full of dead fish and litter, though is not quite as severely affected as the first. We need to organise a similar clean up effort for that lake, and also to continue work on the area around the docks, so please watch this space if you're willing to help out - the more volunteers we have, the more thorough a job we can do.

The litter we removed today included discarded fishing line and equipment, old barbecues, 12 face masks, and an endless number of bottles, plastic bags and beer cans. A local man who litter-picks in the area kindly agreed to dispose of the dead fish for us.

You can get a free litter picking kit from the council by emailing and join The Royal Arsenal 5k Clean up to take part in more litter local litter picks.

The lake after the clean up effort.

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