Yesterday I took part in a brilliant community activity. Thorpe Gate Rivercare group hold regular Sunday
morning litter picks on the banks of the river Nene. I joined an intrepid group of 10 volunteers, and Rivercare’s Project Officer, Fiona McKenna. The Rivercare project is jointly funded by Anglian Water and delivered on the ground by Keep Britain Tidy, and the local group is ably organised by Con Carey and Jill Murdoch and is one of four Rivercare groups in Peterborough. The sun shone and we soon warmed up as we began to fill up our rubbish bags.
The Rivercare Project allows volunteer groups to be provided with litter pickers and gloves to keep volunteers safe, and the City Council and Amey supports the group further by providing rubbish bags and collecting them up once they have been filled.
In two hours I had managed to fill up 3 1/2 bags with a variety of things that shouldn’t have been in the bushes in the first place – a lot of drinks cans and bottles, piles of crisp and sweet wrappers, and some nasty stuff like used needles and broken glass. We even found a hand made clay pot, bits of building material, an old car tyre and old bits of bedding from rough sleepers who had long since moved on. It was good to hear people out on their morning walk complimenting the volunteers on their efforts to pick up the rubbish and it was really beneficial exercise too.
I walk my dogs in the same area most days, and they like to wander through the bushes and wooded areas. It was worrying to see all the litter in the bushes and once you walk off the paths and into wilder areas there is still more litter to collect.
Some might say that this should be done by the Council. Well, my view is that if we really respected our environment there would be no need to collect up the rubbish. I am now thinking how best to develop a broad strategic approach to littering, involving enforcement, education, working with local businesses and volunteer activity to have a real impact on this problem. In the meantime, I will continue to take part in the Rivercare litter picking mornings, and there’s another event being organised through the Neighbourhood Watch on Sunday 10th April
Why not come and take part in a really worthwhile activity?