Not cement but congealed fats on Barnes Small Profit Dock

Local volunteers in Putney Tidy Towpath (PTT) and Barnes Tidy Towpath Group (BTTG) have reported collecting fatbergs with the litter last weekend along the Putney foreshore and at Small Profit Dock in Barnes.

The fatbergs were released into the Thames from the sewer system during the combined sewage overflow Tuesday afternoon (24th September) following heavy rainfall.

A spokesperson for BTTG said: "Following the combined sewage overflow, fatbergs and other nasty bits washed up on Small Profit foreshore and ramp in Barnes. Fatbergs look like chunks of concrete but despite their weight, they are weirdly crumbly, squidgy and contain items which have been flushed down the loo. This weekend, fatbergs were reported in Putney, Hammersmith, Barnes and Mortlake by clean up groups who also found numerous dead rats which was most unusual. We suspect the rats may have been drawn to the smell of the fat, consumed some of the fatberg and died as a result of eating the contaminated matter. Clearly, a hazard for pets, marine life and the environment!"

Holding fatberg 

A spokesperson for PTT said: "Congealed with these lumps can be anything - including a hypodermic needle at Small Profits Dock. Dogs on the foreshore cannot tell what is with the lump they try to eat. We urge residents not to “feed” fatbergs by pouring fat, oil, grease down your kitchen drains and not to flush anything but the 3 P's down the loo - Pee poo and paper - wet wipes, earbuds, condoms and sanitary towels etc should all go on the bin!"

Both groups are trained by Thames21, a charity that works with communities across Greater London to improve rivers, canals, ponds and lakes for people and wildlife. 

Hammersmith & Mogden Treatment Centres have both discharged untreated sewage into the Thames in the past 24 hours.

Our thanks to Sandi Bloomfield, editor of for the article. Photo by BTTG.

Faux Sunday fishmongerFreshly Caught 


In October, we reached out to the public in an unusual way to highlight the scale of pollution in the Thames. Through the clever use of a faux fishmonger's stall, courtesy of our friends at Hubbub, we offered freshly caught local litter to passers-by. Our "gems from the Thames" were as varied as they were colorful. Our stall reinforced the PLA's important "Bin It for a Cleaner Thames" campaign.

Many people were also unaware of the combined sewage overflows that release untreated sewage (along with thousands of cotton bud sticks & sanitary products) into the Thames nearly every time it rains. We explained why the Tideway Tunnel (aka the Super Sewer) is vital for the Thames. We engaged with those enjoying the towpath, be they dog walkers, ramblers, cyclists or runners, to explain that only 3 P's go down the loo: pee, paper and poo. Everything else goes in the bin! This message is very simple, but will it be enough?

We also reached out further afield to help with the creation of Putney Tidy Towpath Group ( which had its inaugural clean up early October. It is encouraging that so many people sincerely wish to do their bit for a cleaner Thames. We are thrilled as, owing to the tides, a riverside community is only as clean as its dirtiest neighbour!

You are welcome to participate in our next clean up - just check the "Upcoming Dates" tab on the website for details and to reserve a place, please email in advance to: Similarly, google Putney Tidy Towpath Group  for their dates and to reserve a place. 


cups v bottles

Has anything changed during the two months since Barnes Tidy Towpath volunteers collected 1,000 plastic cups from Small Profit Dock during two hours in July?

On 19 September, we completed the annual Big Bottle Count to support Thames21 in gathering data for the #OneLess campaign. Volunteers collected plastic bottles from the same area, counted them and noted their brands. Additionally, we plucked all the plastic drinks cups we could from the same 1,500m2 patch of foreshore. Our tally showed 122 plastic bottles, dwarfed by 638 plastic cups.

Ok, it’s below 1,000 but remains shockingly high and a clear indication that behavioural modification is needed. Let’s be honest, most of us are lazy. The pubs and other establishments should not provide clients with single use plastic cups. Please support those who have switched to re-usable cups (e.g., The Blue Anchor) and ask those haven’t yet, to do so.

You are welcome to participate in our next clean up - just check the "Upcoming Dates" tab on the website for details and to reserve a place, please email in advance to: Similarly, contact Putney Tidy Towpath Group at for their dates and to reserve a place.  You can keep up with progress made with the In The Drink scheme which encourages pubs and cruise boats to switch from single use plastic cups to re-usable ones.



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