Using mushrooms and straw to tackle pollutants in the Wandle.

Claire from the Wandle Trust explains:

We need volunteers to help us with our project to improve water quality in the Wandle.  We are using a pioneering technology of mixing mushroom mycelium with straw and wood chip in a hessian sack and using it as a water filter.  This environmentally-friendly approach has been used successfully in the United States to remove pollutants from road runoff water before it enters a river.  The mycofilters, as they are called, are particularly good at tackling pollutants such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons and excess nutrients and these are all problems affecting the Wandle. 

I will be holding a workday to make up the sacks this Saturday 22nd February!  Why not pop down to lend us a hand?!  Here are the details: 

Date: Saturday 22nd February  

Place: Sutton Ecology Centre, The Old Rectory, Festival Walk, Carshalton SM5 3NY

Time: 11am – 2pm.  (If anyone can help me with setting up at 10am and packing away afterwards, I would be grateful)

Clothing: Please wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit grubby.  We will be working outdoors and the straw and wood chip will be wet, so please wrap up well and consider bringing waterproofs and wellies.  Check the weather forecast on the day.  The materials are all harmless but we will provide gloves for comfort and hand sanitiser to clean up afterwards, if anyone wants it.

Light refreshments will be provided. 

Transport: You will need a car to collect a bag.  The bags will weigh 7kg each and so although they can easily be carried, more than one will be inconvenient to take on public transport.  

Parking: You will not be able to park at Sutton Ecology Centre unfortunately.   Please use nearby streets.  I will have wheelbarrows to transport bags to your car.  If you are coming for collection only – please drive straight into the Ecology Centre to load up and then leave immediately.
Special request: 

  • If anyone is able to use their car to help deliver bags for other volunteers locally – please say so and give me your address to help me plan this.  

Please can you let me know if you think you will be coming. Even if you can just collect a bag or two to take away.  I don’t want anyone to turn up and be disappointed.  Email me at

Thanks and hope to see you this Saturday!  


The project is entirely funded by the Environment Agency and is working in partnership with London Borough of Sutton.

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