Clearing Up the Colne

On Monday 15 May Richard Harrington joined Sandy Belloni of Watford in the Water and volunteer Esther to clean up the Colne by Tesco Watford Extra, Lower High Street.

Richard got involved with picking litter from the river banks, “Balsam bashing” – picking invasive specie Himalayan Balsam plants from the banks – and even dragging trollies from the river.

Sandy is Chairman of Friends of Oxhey Park and also works on Paddock Road Allotments as well clearing up the Colne. He explained to Richard how 9 out of 10 flounder swimming in the Thames fragments in their guts due to the litter in our rivers.

The group is looking for volunteers to help clean up the Colne, or from the comfort of your own home you could become a Bailiff of the river. If you are a neighbour of the river, you could keep an eye on your patch and report any issues to Sandy. Contact him at and find out more on Facebook at Watford in the Water  - or Oxhey Park - and Paddock Road at

Richard will convene a meeting of businesses on the Colne such as Tesco in the coming months to ask them to do more to keep our river clear of debris and litter.

Speaking about the work, Richard said: “Sandy and his volunteers are fantastically committed and enthusiastic, but they can’t do it all themselves. We can all play our part to protect our natural environment and I will be speaking to the managers of companies on the river to ensure they provide more help to Watford in the Water.”