Volunteers show bottle in Grantham clean-up

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Rivercare volunteers braved the elements for yet another clean-up of the River Witham through Grantham.

Nineteen members worked flat out in wind and rain for two hours last Saturday along the stretch from Harrowby Hill, through Queen Elizabeth Park, Wyndham park up to Bridge End Road.

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Grantham Rivercare leader John Knowles said: “Considering the last clean up was just over six weeks ago, it was amazing to see how much rubbish there was. The colelction included 15 bags of small items comprising mainly bottles and cans, two bikes, a shopping trolley and two footballs. The total weight was 105.3kg, the equivalent of 2cwt.”

John said the plastic pollution problem is finally being recognised thanks to David Attenborough and others plus a few government measures, though they are happening far too slowly.

In the meantime, immediate improvements can be made if people stopped dumping plastic where they should not. Instead, they should use the many litter bins along the river.

He continued: “If one person can be spotted and charged with dumping rubbish then that might act as a deterrent to others.”

John said that without his group of volunteers, the River Witham would be “in a terrible state, with our glorious river looking more like a sewer.”

Since it started in 2004, the group has completed more than 70 clean-ups, removing several tonnes of rubbish.

He added: “Not only have these efforts resulted in the river looking better, but they have also improved the wildlife habitat. Regular sightings along the river now include herons, king fishers and little egrets. All the local anglers have reported there are more fish now and they are increasing in size.”

The next clean up will be on April 14.