It may have been a Bank Holiday weekend, but that wasn’t going to stop dedicated Rivercare volunteers from turning out on Saturday morning to once again clean-up the River Witham.
Furthermore they found helpful allies in their battle against the trash, in the form of firefighters who happened to be carrying out a water safety exercise at the time, and were only too happy to assist.
Starting at Bridge End Road, a team of 24 Rivercare volunteers faced a variety of challenges as they worked their way along the river.
They hadn’t gone very far before a shopping trolley had been sighted. With the aid of grappling hooks and the efforts of several of the team, it was dragged out of the river.
After this there followed three more trolleys, two bikes, a scooter, a fridge door, a traffic cone, and numerous other items, all of which were retrieved. The team also fished out a vast number of bottles, cans and fast food wrappers - in fact, enough to fill 18 sacks.
Grantham Rivercare leader, John Knowles, said: “When the team arrived at Wyndham Park we were surprised to see the local fire brigade carrying out a water safety exercise, and they very kindly offered to help us out. With the aid of their rescue craft they were able to collect rubbish from the far side of the river which we would otherwise have been unable to reach.
“Having exchanged contact details, this could be the start of a very promising partnership between Rivercare and the fire service.
“In addition to the clean-up we were fortunate to see some wonderful wildlife sightings, including a nest by the bank full of eggs with the first of the young emerging, several buzzards, a heron, a tree creeper and possibly a water vole.”
After all their hard work, members of the team adjourned to the bowls room in Wyndham Park to enjoy some much needed and much deserved refreshments. “Many thanks to Mike Czarnecki’s wife for the delicious cake,” added John.
* The date of the next Rivercare clean-up has been changed to Saturday, June 18, instead of July 2, as previously notified. This is to fit in with National Civic Day.
Rivercare is a service carried out by volunteers, administered by Keep Britain Tidy and sponsored by Anglian Water.