Grantham river event visitors see new decking and wildlife area on the Witham

World River Day clean-up volunteers at the Witham in Wyndham Park, Grantham.
World River Day clean-up volunteers at the Witham in Wyndham Park, Grantham.
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An event held in Wyndham Park on Sunday gave visitors the chance to see new 
facilities which allow people to get up close to river 
wildlife.

The event was part of World Rivers Day which gave people the chance to see the new decking which has been installed by the river near the White Bridge in Wyndham Park and also an area of wetland habitat to attract rare species.

John Knowles, of Grantham Rivercare, with a pile of rubbish collected by volunteers from the Witham.

John Knowles, of Grantham Rivercare, with a pile of rubbish collected by volunteers from the Witham.

The day featured free activities and exhibitions. Organisations represented on the day included the Environment Agency, South Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, Anglian Water, Grantham Rivercare and the Grantham Canal Society.

Russ Critchley, of the Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, said: “It was a joy to see so many people coming together and celebrating the social and environmental value of the River Witham. We’ve had so much feedback commending the event, and it was great to see how busy each stand was throughout the day. Together, I believe we have set a real benchmark for the future of World Rivers Day celebrations.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency exists to create better places for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive. Hundreds of people turned out on World Rivers Day to see how we’ve done that at Wyndham Park – and experience the benefits for themselves. Our project has set the groundwork for natural habitat to truly flourish in the park, and for people to find new, fun ways of enjoying it. We hope the improvements not only honour the park’s history, but also ensure it continues to play an ever-growing, ever-important role in local life.”

John Knowles, leader of Grantham Rivercare, was at the event with a pile of rubbish collected by volunteers from the river the previous day. The rubbish they collected from the river included 20 sacks of small items, mainly bottles, cans and fast food wrappers, two bikes, a traffic cone, a mop, a ride-along toy car, a booster seat, cushions, a number plate and two shopping trolleys.

Raith and Emlyn Tucker at the River Witham event.

Raith and Emlyn Tucker at the River Witham event.

Mr Knowles said: “All this provided us with plenty of material for our display which was artistically displayed by David Martin. We had a competition on World Rivers Day to guess the total weight of our collection. It turned out to be 276.91kg. Someone guessed 265kg and went away with a bag of goodies.

“So well done to all who took part in the clean up and World Rivers Day. Once again I must ask the question what sort of state would our river be without the efforts of our wonderful Rivercare team? As Councillor Peter Moseley rightly pointed out, we need to start looking at the root cause of the problem. Certainly it appears that some residents who live near the river are putting rubbish outside their properties and some of this probably ends up in the river.

“Finally the good news. We came across two white clawed crayfish which seemed to be in very good health. One had been living in a bottle. They were of course carefully returned to the river.”

Visitors with their entries to the art competition held on World Rivers Day in Wyndham Park.

Visitors with their entries to the art competition held on World Rivers Day in Wyndham Park.

Rosemary Gibson and Stan Harbridge, of Grantham Canal Society, at the rivers day event in Wyndham Park, Grantham.

Rosemary Gibson and Stan Harbridge, of Grantham Canal Society, at the rivers day event in Wyndham Park, Grantham.

Emma Holden and Amy Seprini get close up to river wildlife.

Emma Holden and Amy Seprini get close up to river wildlife.