2000 – Preserving the local environment
Developers continue to try to re-develop land overlooking the River. Club members are actively involved with pressure groups challenging developers……
An excellent example of the success of action by local pressure groups, including the Thames Societry, HYC and others, is the cute story about the developers who bought the industrial wasteland, off Point Pleasant (400 meters or so from HYC) that has now become Wandsworth Riverside Quarter (a rather up market development). The developers were facing opposition and having to come to a compromise. The local environmentalists said that the wasteland had become a bird sanctuary and the birds, including a number of migrating geese and ducks, were going to have nowhere to go. The developers eventually accepted that they had to do something and paid for a number of barges to be positioned in mid-stream, with no other purpose than to be bird sanctuaries. It is a great sight and many birds of all kinds seem to appreciate the even safer haven they now have.
At the end of 2005 an anonymous letter was received by the Club:
I think it would be nice for the Deodar Residents Association to thank a number of local organisations for making St Georges Plc comply with the original planning permissions for the Brewhouse Development.
This area is one of the most historically significant locations in South West London. The Brewhouse Slipway is where Cromwell landed in 1647 to take part in the ‘Putney Debates’. These were a series of discussions between factions of the New Model Army and the Levellers concerning a new constitution for England.
Our thanks should go to the West London River Group, the Wandsworth Historical Society, the Hurlingham Yacht Club, the Putney Society and Wandsworth Planning Department for helping to preserve this vital part of our neighbourhood.
Club members have been and still are actively involved in preserving the environment. The Club actively promotes the environmental cause and stays in contact with a number of organisations with similar interests such as the West London River Group. The Thames Society sometimes holds its meetings at the Club.
In the 1950’s a report said there was no fish life on the river. Around the 1960’s a major effort was made to clean up the Thames. As a result we now have one of the cleanest rivers going through a major capital city. There are now, according to the Environment Agency, over 115 different species of fish and a huge variety of invertebrates, supporting a growing population of birds such as herons and cormorants.
There are salmon and even seals and porpoises. The banks of the river are rich and varied with an abundance of plants and a growing wildlife.