Harrow's Streams: Make a Difference!

Building a leaky dam at Stanmore Common

Harrow's streams need help! Harrow Council is carrying out some large scale work that will improve parts of some of the streams, but it is only with volunteer help that the problems can be identifies and real change achieved.

To make a difference you can...

Volunteer at one of the parks or nature reserves through which the streams run. You get to join a friendly and enthusiastic team with the satisfaction of making a clear difference with improvements you can watch from week to week. Click here for the contact details of specific sites.

Join a roving working party. The Harrow Wildlife Action project from Harrow Nature Conservation Forum sends volunteers to sites across Harrow that don't have their own volunteer group, or to small forgotten wild areas along streams and behind houses. We dig up invasive non-native plants such as Himalayan Balsam; build leaky dams to create pools and slow the flow of rainwater downstream; clear bramble from streamside paths and do other jobs to improve Harrow's streams.There's no commitment: come as often or as infrequently as you like! Email admin@harrowncf.org to get on our mailing list to learn of upcoming events.

Become a “Riverfly Monitor”. The information collected by volunteer riverfly monitors reveals the health of Harrow's streams and rivers. It identifies points where pollution is high, so that officials can look for the sources of pollution upstream. It reveals when the health of a stream improves, either as the result of reduced pollution or because of physical changes in the stream such as rewilding or the creation of reed beds and settling pools. It is also fun: volunteers get to see and identify the different types of invertebrates found in their streams. Volunteers are trained by experts and then monitor a specific patch of stream, recording the different invertebrates that they find and using this to score the health of the stream. Tests are done once a month, each test taking about an hour. We will try and set up teams of two or three volunteers at each specific point so that an individual volunteer tests every two or three months. Contact admin@harrowncf.org to discuss possibilities ‐ no obligation implied!

Join a team surveying for plants or insects. Harrow has many small patches of undeveloped land, especially along watercourses; some are identified as “Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation” but in most cases no one has looked recently to see what is there so when a planning application is made to build on the site we don't know what would be lost. The surveying arm of Harrow Wildlife Action will go out to such sites and record what we find; typically we will be surveying for either plants or insects. Even complete novices are useful to have along on surveys, but trained amateurs are even more useful: contact us and we will arrange training.

Return to the Watercourses Project home page     More information about Harrow's watercourses and the project

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