Ahead of the International Day for Biological Diversity on Friday, we want to reflect on some of our recent successes with a series of blogs...
The RiverCare & BeachCare programme is our long term partnership with Keep Britain Tidy to empower communities to look after their local environment. There are now 50 established volunteer groups looking after stretches of river and beach across our region.
The programme continues to go from strength to strength. Over the past year RiverCare volunteers have supported the EA in tackling the invasive aquatic plant floating pennywort along the River Great Ouse. Complementing the regulator's control activities, the volunteers monitor where the plant establishes and manually remove it. For Anglian Water this helps to minimise the risk of the plant being transferred to Grafham Water via the abstraction point.
The programme has also directly supported high profile campaigners in their quests to tackle litter and plastic pollution. The world record-breaking Atlantic rower Kiko Matthews cycled the UK and Ireland's coast while undertaking beach cleans and was supported by RiverCare & BeachCare volunteers as she passed through our region.
Similarly Litter Hero Wayne Dixon and his dog Koda are litter-picking the UK coast and joined Southend BeachCare for the largest programme clean-up yet, with a turn out of 179 volunteers!
We also celebrated a regional first as the Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea BeachCare groups played a leading role in securing the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Coastline status.