RiverCare volunteers help love their local river

Hundreds of volunteers across the East Anglian region could be found on their local riverbank this weekend (27 and 28 September) pitching in to help love their local river – collecting almost 1.5 tonnes of litter in the process.

Around 20 events were arranged by the popular RiverCare programme - a collaboration between Anglian Water and Keep Britain Tidy – to celebrate World Rivers Day and help local communities enjoy the beautiful surroundings on our doorsteps.

Many parts of the area’s major rivers were covered, including the Great Ouse, Nene, Cam, Slea, Welland, Waveney and Colne.

Clive Harward, Anglian Water’s Head of Water Quality and Environmental Performance, said: “It’s quite staggering that this weekend’s events saw almost 1.5 tonnes of litter collected from the region’s rivers. It was a fantastic effort by everyone involved and great to see so many people pitching in to help look after their local environment.

“Every drop of water we use is borrowed from the environment, before it’s recycled and returned to our waterways, making it very important that we love our waterways and protect them for the future.”

Events were held right across the region with RiverCare groups joined by new volunteers taking part in litter picks and learning about their local watercourse.

Events took place in parts of:
• Bedford
• Towcester
• Abington (Cambridgeshire)
• Meldreth (Cambridgeshire)
• Stamford
• Sleaford
• Peterborough
• Diss
• Colchester
• Southend
• Cherry Hinton
• Cambridge

Clive continued: “Sadly, we’re seeing more litter on our riverbanks, in our rivers and finding its way to the coast too. So having groups of dedicated RiverCare volunteers regularly pitching in to help protect these areas is great to see.”

World Rivers Day, held annually on the last Sunday in September, was set up in 2005 in agreement with the United Nations. It aims to support their Water for Life Decade and create a greater awareness of the need to better care for our natural water resources – something which people everywhere can play a role in achieving.

Andrew Walters, RiverCare Project Manager, said: “Many new volunteers joined old friends this weekend and we’re hoping having this many people joining in to mark World Rivers Day and celebrate their local environments will encourage even more people to get involved and help lover their local river.”

Everyone is welcome to get involved in the RiverCare project and can find more details of their local group by contacting Andrew Walters.