Rubbish pulled from river in Shrewsbury fills three trailers
Traffic cones, an office chair and a saw were among three trailer loads of rubbish pulled from the River Severn in Shrewsbury as part of a major clean-up operation.
The river clean began in Shrewsbury as part of the annual Love Your Magnificent Severn campaign by Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
Trust staff, joined by volunteers, canoed sections of the waterway removing as much litter as they can.
Pete Lambert, river projects manager for Shropshire Wildlife Trust, said: "It's been brilliant, we had a great day out on the river.
"Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth turned out in force, we also had a number of volunteers and great support from the Sabrina boat.
"We collected a stack of traffic cones, an office chair, a saw, lots of broken bottles. In total Shropshire Council took three trailer loads of rubbish away.
"We're delighted with how it's gone."
The canoeists started at Frankwell Cricket Ground and paddled upstream to the West Mid Showground then back downstream to the Weir.
"There was lots of muck and rubbish and all that sort of stuff that we're lucky we managed to find and pull out.
"There were also four barrels of unidentified substance which are now out of the river and a saw and broken bottles."
John Hughes, development manager at Shropshire Wildlife Trust, added: "The excited team set off earlier this morning, and have already managed to fill the 'Plastic Fantastic' handmade canoe, which was created from lots of three litre plastic bottles all held together.
"We are never short of volunteers because people really enjoy the trips. The Severn is a wonderful river for canoeing on as there aren't many powered crafts and it's very safe and tranquil. While the weather is beautiful it's a great way of spending the day but with a purpose of cleaning the plastic from our rivers."
Mr Hughes said that a lot of people do not realise that plastic pollution in Midlands rivers eventually flow down into our oceans, affecting marine life.
An estimated 80 per cent of the plastic that ends up in the sea originates from rivers.
Mr Hughes added: "Plastic pollution and cutting plastic waste has also featured heavily in the government's new environmental strategy, as well as gaining more recent coverage on TV shows such as David Attenborough's Blue Planet."
The clean-up continued from Cressage to Ironbridge yesterday before moving on to between Jackfield and Bridgnorth today.
Mr Lambert added: "By their very nature towns with rivers have unfortunately got people that dispose of plastic inappropriately.
"We're trying to get local people to organise their own litter picks in streams or brooks.
"We've got 3,846 miles of river and if people take an active interest in cleaning the river then that's a bonus."
The project has been sponsored by Telford based company, Lyreco. The company's Environmental Officer, Manel Roura, will be meeting the canoeists at Ironbridge.