Get to Grips with the Thames Foreshore's Wet Wipe Mountain

Volunteers wanted to join annual count of 'Quatermass-style horror'

Get to Grips with the Thames Foreshore's Wet Wipe Mountain
Volunteers at a previous wet wipe count

September 22, 2023

Thames21, the charity dedicated to improving London’s waterways, is once again inviting hardy volunteers to get down and dirty among the wet wipes mounting  up by Hammersmith Bridge.

The Big Wet Wipe Count is on Sunday, 1 October from 10am till 2pm.

The charity says the disgusting deposit by the south side of the bridge has grown so large - up to the size of two tennis courts - that it has been dubbed Wet Wipe Island and it could now be changing the course of the river as well as polluting it.

Thames21 says, “ Every time it rains in London, the sewers overflow which means the wet wipes that people flush down the loo end up in the river. The problem is now so bad that hundreds of thousands are depositing on the riverbed.

“To assess the scale of the problem, we are looking for volunteers to survey the wet wipes on the foreshore and record the final number.”

Last year’s count attracted over 50 volunteers, with local MPs, Hammersmith’s Andy Slaughter and Putney’s Fleur Anderson lending their support in tackling what Andy described afterwards as “the Quatermass-style horror that is Wet Wipe Island”.

This year, everyone is welcome to don their wellies and join in, though the charity says this event is not suitable for under tens and children under 16 need to be supervised by an adult.

The count will take place at the south side of Hammersmith Bridge, at Castlenau’s junction with Riverview Gardens. 

To book your place, go to this page.

Thames21 is also looking for ten volunteer team captains to look after each survey transect. Anyone who thinks they are up to the task is invited to e-mail for more information.

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