The Great River Wye Spring Clean – Save the Oceans Clean the Land

Over the past couple of years it’s been next to impossible not to hear about the growing plastic pollution on land and particularly in the oceans and all devastating effects that has on wildlife. Eighty percent of litter in the oceans comes from the land, swept into the sea by streams, rivers and wind. Not only is it harmful but it’s unsightly and cost us, the tax payer, to have it cleaned up. For the national event Keep Britain Tidy, Hereford Community Clean Up Group wanted to do something big, something to bring communities together, something to get the public involved and realise that litter is a global issue and it’s right on our doorstep and we need to take action now. So we decided to clean as much of the River Wye as possible.

The river is iconic to anyone living in or visiting Herefordshire and used by many to fish, swim, paddle, bird watch or kayak on. It is a national Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and internationally a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and home to an array or wonderful wildlife. The river eventually runs into the sea not only connecting various communities along the way but also connecting the land to the sea.

For the event a barge is being constructed from recycled plastic bottles donated by the community and will be used to collect all the litter, this is being constructed by the great team at Horizon Training on Foley Trading Estate. A team of volunteers from various groups across Herefordshire will be cleaning the water, led by rafters, canoeists, coracles and boats, whilst the banks of the river will be open to the public and be child, dog and wheelchair friendly. The RSPCA are joining the public on the banks which will be cleared in two waves, with the water and land teams all moving down together. The event will be held on Sunday 7th April. The first option for the banks is to meet at Hunderton Footbridge at 9.30am working downstream to Victoria Footbridge. The second wave is from Victoria Foot Bridge meeting at 12.30pm working towards the new Cycleway Bridge at Rotherwas. Volunteers are welcome to join for as little or long as they want.

Other litter pick groups along the Wye have organised clean up events of the river at Ross on Wye, Monmouth and Chepstow. to be held on the same day. The event is open to everyone and there will be free hot drinks and food for the volunteers with vegetarian and vegan options available at The Pavilion, The Castle Green. All equipment will be provided and hand sanitizer readily available. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear and all children under 16 must be supervised by an adult.

This fun, family event is all about bringing the community together to clean up our precious river, raise awareness of the litter issue in Hereford and bring about positive behaviour change. If we all do a little bit the river, county, sea and wider environment will be a much cleaner, safer place for all our wildlife and for us to enjoy.

If you have any queries please contact Morgan Schofield, Emma Jones, or Lucy Hurds via the Hereford Community Clean Up Group Page on Facebook or Andrew Wood on 07919 491999