[A]s part of the Great River Rescue – the first national clean-up of rivers, Eden Rivers Trust volunteers and apprentices took on a neglected, rubbish-strewn beck in Appleby to clear the litter and stop it from entering Eden’s rivers and washing out to sea.
It is estimated 6.4 million tonnes of litter enters the sea annually, according to the National Academy of Sciences in the USA. Undoubtedly, some of that litter will have found its way there via our rivers.
Eden Rivers Trust, in collaboration with Appleby Smarter, hatched a plan to clean up a particularly neglected area by Appleby Grammar School.
In just a few hours, volunteers collected more than 45 bin bags full of rubbish, including: 550 cans, over 400 plastic bottles, 78 polystyrene boxes, 26 plastic forks, 26 glass bottles, 11 aerosols and other bits and pieces such as tennis rackets, sports balls, traffic cones and hub covers!
Paul Greaves, River Action Group Coordinator, Eden Rivers Trust, said: “It’s incredible to see just how much litter, much of it plastic, has built up here – and this is only in one small beck.
Without the help of volunteers today, this litter would find its way into the River Eden system and eventually the Solway Firth, damaging the health of wildlife and stopping people’s enjoyment of Eden’s rivers and lakes.
If everybody just took a moment to put their litter into a bin or take it home with them, these types of clean-ups wouldn’t be necessary and we’d have healthier rivers for all.”
If litter is a blight on a beck or river near you, why not get some friends and neighbours together to clean it up. Eden Rivers Trust can provide support and advice, call Paul Greaves on 01768 866788 or email [email protected].
The Great River Rescue is run by Thames21, the Angling Trust, The Canal and River Trust, the Rivers Trust and the Marine Conservation Society and has the backing of Keep Britain Tidy. Eden Rivers Trust volunteers are supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund