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Bumble Bee

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Carder Bee


Where have our flying insects gone ???


Over the last 25 years the abundance of flying insects has dropped by 75%. Do you remember a quarter of a century ago, when driving down the road you would have to regularly clean your windscreen to remove the insects stuck to it?  Now think about when you are driving now.  I can't remember the last time I had to clean my windscreen of insects; but I can remember cleaning bird mess, dust and dirt.

So what has happened? Insects are a very important part of the life cycle on earth; they are the pollinators of our crops and prey for other wildlife. Although the reason for the decline of our insects is not clear yet, the probable causes are the loss of wild areas, the use of pesticides on our farm lands.

Insects used to make up approximately two-thirds of all life on earth by weight, but they are becoming less noticeable. With temperatures rising, the use of pesticides and pollution in our rivers, something needs to be done.

What can we do?

There are a number of things we can do; we can help insects by planting wild flowers in our gardens which are attractive to pollinating insects throughout the year.  Talk to Havering Council and lobby your local Councillor about helping to create more wildflower meadows in our parks and open spaces.


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Damselfly Larvae

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Cased Caddis Fly Larvae

About our rivers

There are many miss-connections due to people not understanding how the sewerage system works. If your house was built after 1920, then your house will be connected to two different sewer systems, the main system is the “foul water system” which takes the water from our toilets, baths, showers, sinks and washing machines. The other sort is the “surface water system” which takes water from our roofs, gutters, patios and road side drains. The water from these goes directly into our rivers or into the sea. If your house was built before 1920, you should check whether you have a duel system or combined sewer system, the combined system takes all water from your roofs and toilets and goes down the same system to the sewerage plant.

What can we do?

Rivers are the life blood of everything, if they become polluted the wildlife that lives in them will start to disappear, like invertebrates and fish that live in the river. If you see pollution in a river or stream, like soap suds or sewerage fungus near outlets into the rivers or streams, it should be reported to the local water company and the Environment Agency.


Roding, Beam and Ingrebourne Catchment Plan (RBI)

The Roding, Beam & Ingrebourne Catchment Partnership is a focused group of local stakeholders who are working together through a Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) to improve the rivers in the Roding, Beam & Ingrebourne Catchment and bring direct on-the-ground benefit to people and wildlife.  The Friends Group is just one of the members of this partnership.  This Catchment Plan sets out the required actions which will seek to improve the physical functioning and condition of the rivers and tributaries within the Roding, Beam & Ingrebourne Catchment, thus benefiting both wildlife and people.  To see the Catchment Plan and Vision Summary, go to our Documents tab and click on the links to see how you can help move this forward.





Over the last few years the “Friends Group” have noticed that there are a lot of          miss-connections coming from the outlets that enter the River Ingrebourne, the outlets take rainwater from your house and roads in your area and is sent directly to our rivers.  What we all need to do is check our connections, making sure that only rainwater goes down the rainwater drain and wastewater only goes down the wastewater drain.
Drains are underground pipes that take water away from houses and buildings. Most homes have separate drains for rainwater and wastewater. The owner is responsible for checking their property has the right drain connections. If your property has the wrong drain connections, you could be causing water pollution.

Drain for rainwater

This drain collects rainwater from:
●    roofs
●    driveways
●    roads

Rainwater is untreated.  The surface water drain takes it directly to rivers and beaches.

Drain for wastewater

Wastewater comes from:

●    toilets
●    sinks
●    baths and showers
●    washing machines
●    dishwashers

This drain takes the foul water to the local wastewater treatment works.

Drain connections

Wastewater must not flow into the surface water drain.  Unless your house is on  a combined drains system, it needs separate drain connections to collect wastewater and rainwater. Homeowners and landlords are responsible for checking they have separate drain connections from their home.

How your home could cause pollution

If wastewater from your home flows into the rainwater drain, this takes untreated water to the nearest river.  This pollutes:

●    river water
●    the sea
●    local beaches

Your house could have the wrong drain connections because:

●    you or a plumber installed a new appliance
●    you renovated or extended your home

When your home was originally built, it's possible the builder or owner might have installed connections to the wrong drains.

Connecting gutters and gullies

Gutters and gullies should only collect rainwater and connect to the rainwater drain. Wastewater pipes should not be connected to the rainwater system. If the rainwater gutters and gullies are connected to the wastewater drain, rainwater could overwhelm the drain and cause flooding.

Checking drain connections

If you’re a homeowner or landlord, check your home has the right connections for all rainwater and wastewater plumbing.

You need to connect:

●    toilets
●    sinks
●    baths and showers
●    washing machines
●    dishwashers

to the wastewater drain. If your home is on a separate drains system but has the wrong drain connections, you should put them right. You could be causing water pollution in a local waterway or beach.

Checking drain connections before you buy a property

It is important to check a property has the right drain connections before you buy. Ask your surveyor or contractor to include drain connections in their survey report.  For more information, go to our Documents page and have a read of the leaflets there.




Friends of Ingrebourne Valley and Hornchurch Country Park.