'I love Mother Nature and Old Father Thames. I find joy in mud-squelching, river splashing, crow-wrangling, ladder-climbing, stone-skimming, elver-rescuing, and setting up impromptu coconut shys. I believe river gifts are earned from Old Father Thames, and that good finds come as a reward for taking rubbish out of the environment. It gives Mother Nature a chance to recover. We now have seals breeding in the Thames, thanks to a thriving fish stock and cleaner water. Mudlarks have contributed to this, with every piece of plastic removed, and that makes me proud. Mudlarking gives me a sense of peace that is essential in my life. It’s the thrill of the lucky dip. If you do find something, you may think it’s not very interesting, but when you get home and research it, it turns out to be absolutely amazing.'
Photo © Hannah Smiles