Sewage, garden furniture and children's bike among rubbish pulled from Derbyshire river by volunteers

Volunteers in Derbyshire have carried out a clean up to boost the environment and protect wildlife along the River Derwent.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 12:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 12:10 pm

Paddle sports enthusiasts ‘deep cleaned’ the banks of the river between Ambergate and Belper River Gardens.

The volunteers from Paddle Peak were joined by Surfers Against Sewage, the national water quality and environmental charity, and British Canoeing members.

The river clean was part of the SAS Million Mile Clean, where communities across the country have removed waste and plastic from more than one million miles of the UK’ beaches and river banks.

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Volunteers in Derbyshire with items they pulled from the water and banks of the River Derwent. Image: Paddle Peak.

Waste removed from the Derwent included plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles, chip traps, agricultural waste, sewage waste, road cones, garden furniture and a child’s bike.

Pete Astles. Paddle Peak founder and trustee, said: “It was so great to be part of the SAS Million Mile Clean.

"We are really excited that the million and one mile of river bank and beaches cleaned this year by volunteers all over the country was pretty much right here on the River Derwent.

Volunteers in Derbyshire cleaned the banks of the River Derwent from Ambergate to Belper. Image: Paddle Peak.

"What an amazing national effort. Well done everyone.”

Neil Cutts, from SAS, said it was ‘amazing’ to see the hard work taking place on, in and around the Derwent.

"River cleans are an integral part of keeping our waterways, seas and oceans clean,” he added.

"It was a pleasure to join Paddle Peak and add even more miles to our Million Mile Clean and we look forward to working together in the future.”

Chantelle Grundy, from British Canoeing, said she was shocked to see the amount of plastic in the river – but pleased the volunteers could remove it before it reaced the sea.

She said: “It was fantastic to meet so many local paddlers volunteering their time to remove plastic pollution and junk from the River Derwent.

"I was surprised to find lots of polythene entwined in the branches of the trees overhanging the river.

"However, from the canoes we were able to remove what we could see of it, before it had chance to break down further and be carried out to sea.”

Paddle Peak, a community project promoting responsible paddle sport in the Peak District, has backed the Derbyshire Times’ Love Where You Live campaign, which aims to highlight the work of litter picking groups.