18 Rivers Trusts assemble 600 volunteers, as part of the Great British Spring Clean 2019

Jayne Mann


From March 22nd – April 23rd more than 18 Rivers Trusts organised more than 26 litter picks across the country to take part in the Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean campaign.

This year’s Great British Spring Clean was bigger than ever and Rivers Trusts empowered more than 600 volunteers across the country, to get out to their local river and pick up litter from in and around their local watercourse.

Collectively, the Trusts filled more than 1300 bags of litter, some of the craziest items found included a scooter, a CD player fully intact with a CD, the side of a caravan and a foosball table!

Alistair Maltby, Operations Director, said: “The Rivers Trust is proud to have contributed over 600 volunteers who collected more than 1300 bags of rubbish from our rivers to contribute to Keep Britain Tidy’s GB Spring Clean. Most worrying to us was the amount of sewage-related items which are a visual indication of the pollution of our rivers, and plastics which we know are threatening our seas. This year’s clean-up has shown just how important our rivers are in connecting land and sea, and the debris collected has shown just how far we still have to go in protecting them.”

On the lead up to the campaign, 7 Rivers Trusts and 5 Catchment Partnerships took part in a 2-day training course with Thames21, to help them lead a successful waterway clean up event, learning about delivering volunteer litter picks and the safety elements of holding an event near and around water.

Poppy Flint, Training Officer at Thames21, said: “It was fantastic to meet so many other Rivers Trusts wanting to deliver waterway clean up events, something we do regularly at Thames21. Our comprehensive course really helps volunteer organisers fully prepare their clean up events, offers them greater confidence in water safety and inspires local residents to get involved in improving their local waterway.”

Rivers Trusts are always in need of an extra pair of hands and often hold cleanups throughout the year, as well as other river-based volunteering events.

Take a look at our events calendar to find an event near you.

Image credit: Glen Minikin / Daily Mail

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