The leader of Grantham Rivercare, which cleans up the River Witham, says its work over the years is starting to pay off.
John Knowles said he had walked along the river in Grantham and had seen far less rubbish than he was used to seeing in the past. Rivercare’s next clean-up is at 10am on October 24, starting at the bridge at Bridge End Road.
Mr Knowles said: “I am beginning to think that all the effort we have put in over the years is paying off. Not only is that due directly to Rivercare clean-ups but I really feel that there is now more respect for our adopted stretch of river.
He added: “Grantham Rivercare was set up eleven years ago by the Civic Society who recognised what a magnificent
asset to the town the River Witham is, but what a shame that it was being spoilt by just a few people. The early clean-ups brought in huge amounts of rubbish, some of which took a great deal of effort to retrieve. Having kept up the good work for so long these efforts were rewarded last year when Grantham Rivercare won the Lincolnshire Environmental Award for community groups.
“There have also been some wonderful spin-offs. For instance Marilyn Campbell recently brought along her young grandson Ethan to help. He really got stuck in and was so inspired that he led the way in setting up a litter picking club at his school. In a recent newsletter from the school his efforts were recognised as follows: ‘We are especially proud of Ethan Cole who came up with the idea and encouraged his friends to get involved’ So very well done Ethan!
“Marilyn has also brought to my attention that there is an project called ‘On Your Bike’ project running in Grantham. This involves old bikes being refurbished by inmates at Stocken Prison. This could be useful in salvaging any bikes we find in the river.
“There are now some 40 Rivercare Groups like ours in the East Midlands and East Anglia doing splendid work (all volunteers) in keeping their river courses in good shape. Rivercare is administered by Keep Britain Tidy and sponsored by Anglian Water. In Grantham we are also supported by South Kesteven District Council and in particular Keith Rowe who kindly arranges for all that we collect to be properly disposed of. And finally to Debbie Wrightson and Sainsbury’s for providing us with refreshments in return for retrieving their trolleys.
“So well done all Rivercare volunteers. You are making a real difference.”