‘Oarsome’ team effort helps clean up the Avon - The Evesham Observer

‘Oarsome’ team effort helps clean up the Avon

Evesham Editorial 16th Jun, 2023   0

GREEN-FINGERED campaigners filled more than 15 bags of rubbish as Anti-Litter Evesham joined up with local paddlers to clean up a stretch of the River Avon.

The environmental enthusiasts walked and paddled from Crown Meadow, Evesham and headed along the River Avon to Hampton Ferry, collecting litter along the way as part of British Canoeing’s Big Paddle Clean Up, a fortnight of action to protect the places we love to paddle and walk from plastic pollution.

In a variety of craft including stand up paddleboards and kayaks, the aim for those on the water was to remove as much litter as they could, before it travelled downstream and out towards the coast.

The volunteers removed sacks full of plastic pollution, with the usual suspects including plastic water bottles, drinks cans and fast-food packaging, along with some rather unusual items including part of a car roof rack and a VW car wheel.

The volunteers were rewarded with refreshments at Hampton Ferry thanks to Raphael’s Restaurant.

Helen Russell, a British Canoeing She Paddles Ambassador and member of Fladbury Paddle Club helped organise the littler pick and said: “River clean ups are vital to the health of our rivers. A particular problem is plastic rubbish which does not biodegrade, instead it breaks down into smaller pieces which stay in our environment forever and at this stage it becomes impossible to remove.

“Fish and other creatures then mistake the plastic particles for food, eat it and so plastic is then in our food chain.

“The impact on human health is unknown. Birds and other wildlife can also become entangled often leading to death.”

Laura Van Toller, from Anti-Litter Evesham said: “The River Avon is a real asset to Evesham and is much loved by locals and visitors to the town.

“We wanted to help to keep it clean and healthy because Evesham’s river with the surrounding parks are too lovely to litter.

“It was great to see so many volunteers taking part in the litter pick both on the land and water to stop plastics and other junk journeying along our river and reaching the sea causing damage to wildlife.”

British Canoeing launched its Access and Environment Charter, Clear Access, Clear Waters, in 2018 championing the case for fair shared sustainable open access to inland waterways.

As part of the Clear Access, Clear Waters campaign, British Canoeing is pledging to continue to protect and improve the health of our rivers, addressing plastic in our waterways and highlighting the positive impact accessing our waterways can have for the environment.

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