Despite the name, Norbury Brook actually runs through Thornton Heath, writes Tony Crackett.

The brook rises in Addiscombe, but is not visible until it surfaces in Heaver’s Meadow in Selhurst and then it goes underground from Selhurst Road before re-surfacing in Thornton Heath beside Treetops Close off Swain Road .

Then it passes under Brigstock Road just west of Brook Road and continues into Thornton Heath Rec – its longest continuously visible stretch.

It then flows between houses, under the railway by Manor Farm Road, through the Manor Farm Nature reserve and in to Norbury Park. Finally it forms the border between Croydon and Lambeth where it flows under London Road, and changes its name to the River Graveney. The Graveney flows into The Wandle, and then to the Thames.

A group of local residents are keen to ensure Norbury Brook in Thornton Heath Rec is kept clean and have  undergone training supported by Thames 21, a charity devoted to cleaning up the Thames catchment.

Last month 33 eager volunteers kitted out with wellies, gloves and litter pickers chopped back vegetation in and around The Brook filling dozens of  bags of  rubbish.

The event was organised by Friends of Thornton Heath Rec members Atul Shah and Graham Mitchell who said: “It was fantastic having so many people support us. Their hard work had an immediate benefit on the local community and, it was heart-warming to hear so many people say they had such fun getting in The Brook”.

Equipment was provided by Croydon Council and Thames21. For news on the next Clear Up contact Graham: or ring: 07830817662