Villiers gets her waders on to help clean up Pymmes Brook

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers has helped a local conservation group to clean up Pymmes Brook as part of ambitious proposals to restore the waterway and ensure it becomes one of London’s cleanest.

Theresa, who is also the Environment Secretary with responsibility for water quality, joined the Pymmes BrookERS local community group at Oak Hill Park in East Barnet at the weekend.

The enthusiasts removed litter and invasive species (and even pulled out a bike buried in the mud) as part of a long-term plan to create greater biodiversity, improve water quality and mitigate against the effects of climate change in the area.

“This clean-up was a great way for me to see first-hand how the local community here in East Barnet is working with local environmental charities such as Thames21 to improve our environment,” said Theresa.

“I was pleased to take a hands-on role pulling litter out of the brook. I certainly saw what a challenge the project is, how strongly people feel about cleaning up our streams and rivers and how much enthusiasm there is to make a difference. Our water environment in England is cleaner than it has been for over a century but sadly there are still real problems with Pymmes Brook."

“Many thanks to Alison Archer, Cllr Felix Byers and all the volunteers from the Pymmes BrookERS for inviting me to get stuck in - I really enjoyed it.”

Volunteer and local councillor Felix added: “We were delighted to have the support of Theresa. Pymmes Brook is deceptively beautiful because actually it’s among the most polluted in the country. However, there’s now tremendous enthusiasm to see it thriving as an aquatic ecosystem, and that’s very exciting.”