Members of staff from Nottingham based British Canoeing spent Thursday afternoon cleaning litter up from The River Trent and Nottingham Canal as part of the national Spring Beach Clean Summit to Sea, led by Surfers Against Sewage and partnered with British Canoeing.
Practicing what they preach, the team of paddlers spent the afternoon on the water collecting rubbish from the waterways and towpaths. Paddling from Nottingham Kayak Club along the River Trent and Nottingham Canal, they collected over 8 industrial sized sacks of litter along the way.
In a variety of craft from open canoes to stand up paddleboards, the aim was to remove as much litter as they could, before it travelled downstream and out towards the coast.
Chantelle Grundy, Access and Environment Officer at British Canoeing who organised and took part in the clean up said:
“I am always surprised firstly by how much litter is in our waterways and the sheer scale of the problem, particularly of plastic bags and sheeting, but secondly by those really unusual items recovered including a bar stool, a deep fat fryer and a stiletto!
“That said, all litter removed is a small victory in the fight against plastic pollution”.
The Spring Beach Clean Summit to Sea campaign, which includes inland waterways runs from the 6th to the 14th April and plans to be the biggest campaign yet. Nationally we hope to collectively remove more than 35 tonnes of plastic pollution from the environment.
Taking into account the length of the longest river in the UK (the Severn) and its average speed, it is estimated that a piece of litter dropped upstream could reach the sea in less than 44 hours.
Last year British Canoeing launched its Access and Environment Charter Clear Access Clear Waters in Westminster last year championing the case for fair shared sustainable open access to inland waterways. As part of this, it 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 as well.