The Surfers Against Sewage Big Spring Beach Clean campaign has got off to a great start with lots of paddlers across the country getting involved over the first weekend of action!
British Canoeing’s Charter establishes a clear vision for fair, shared sustainable access to water and outlines our commitment to protecting the environment - clean ups play a huge part in this and the work of paddlers is making a huge difference.
Take a look at what some of our clubs, centres and paddlers have been getting up to, and remember to log your clean ups on the SAS website and our waterways tracker too!
There is still time to get involved, you can find your nearest clean or volunteer to lead your own at www.sas.org.uk
As the last canoe club before the tidal Thames, Royal Canoe club are doing their bit by helping to stop plastics reaching the ocean. This weekend, Royal Outriggers, a part of the club held a river clean up and collected over 5 sacks of rubbish! Well done everyone.
Jo is training for a paddleboard challenge later this year where she will SUP along the Desmond Family Canoe Trail, highlighting the issue of single use plastic pollution and raising money for The Wave Project and 2MinuteBeachClean. As part of her Sunday morning training session she took part in a ‘2 minute litter pick’ on the canal.
This morning was lots of #PaddleboardTheNorth training and a 2 minute litter pick on the canal. I picked up a fair bit of plastic - sweet wrappers, crisp packets and a McDonalds cup I saw being thrown over a bridge in the distance as a car hurtled across!– Jo Moseley
Jo shows that you don’t need to plan a large event, or spend hours on the water to make a difference, just 2 minutes as part of a training session or leisurely paddle can make a huge difference to the amount of pollution in our waterways.
18 volunteers from SBC Paddlers in Normanton on Soar completed a clean up on the 7th April and covered 2 kilometres of The River Soar, collecting 17 bags of rubbish! Amongst their haul they found a range of bizarre items including a certificate of competency for operating an overhead crane, a crash helmet and a pregnancy testing kit!
Cumbria Canoeists and the Cumbria Regional Development team supported a 3 day beach clean in Scotland. The cleanup was organised by Basking Shark Scotland (BSS), a wildlife tour business based in Oban, on the west coast of Scotland. The area, renowned for its stunning coastlines and variety of marine wildlife saw a large group of volunteers undertake clean ups along the Oban coastline - both on the shorelines and in the water.
Acting as the ‘advanced cleaning squad’ the group from Cumbria took to the water in sea kayaks and were able to collect rubbish from many hard to reach areas.
During the cleans we were surprised how much wildlife we saw,including a small pod of bottlenose dolphins in Oban harbour. This particular sighting was particular rare given the noise and traffic in the harbour - perhaps they were coming over to say thanks! Great for our volunteers to get this reward for their hard work Based on the volume we estimate that it was around 22m3 of debris we collected - which is an awesomely huge amount to collect!– Basking Shark Scotland.
The Cumbria Region sea kayak groups, spend many weeks exploring the Hebrides and introducing sea kayakers to the coastal environment and we have noted the amounts of beach pollution and plastic waste washed up in many bays and on beaches. Joining Basking Shark Scotland as volunteers, allowed us the opportunity to get involved first hand, using BSS power boats to collect the x1 ton dumpy bags - Given free by JT Atkinsons, a well known Cumbrian builders merchants - full of the collected waste. As sea kayakers we could get into many of the hidden beaches and support BSS to load and transfer the waste to their small power boats and onto the bigger boats for transport back to Oban for sorting and recycling. A perfect partnership and action to show how important paddlers feel caring for our environment is– Mike Sunderland, Cumbria Chair
12 volunteers from Pennine Canoe and Rowing Club collected 8 bags of litter (and half a trampoline!) from 5km of the River Calder in artnership with the Calder Navigation Society and Safe Anchor Trust.
Recent floods had washed huge amounts of litter down the River Calder... but there's rather less there now!– Pennine Canoe and Rowing Club
Ben Seal, Places to Paddle Manager at British Canoeing headed out on the River Derwent with his club Midland Canoe club! Well done to the team who retrieved a range of large items including a fire extinguisher and a bar stool, alongside several bags worth of rubbish.
A Huge clean up effort by Midland Canoe Club today on the River Derwent. We collected a lot of junk but we we left overwhelmed by the sheer volume of rubbish in our river. Our cleans are just part of the awesome Surfers Against Sewage #Summit2Sea effort and paddlers up and down the country have been getting stuck in. Just imagine what we could do if we had fair, shared, sustainable open access on all waters?– Ben Seal, Places to Paddle Manager at British Canoeing
Whoosh Explore Canoe Club in Hertfordshire were inspired by last years Autumn Beach and River Clean Campaign to make waterways clean-ups a regular thing! Alongside the regular clean ups they have been holding ever since, they have once again got involved with the SAS campaign.
This time 15 volunteers covered 8km of the river and have collected a very impressive 66 bags of rubbish - a fantastic effort!
If you're looking for some inspiration Peter Nash, Manager of Whoosh Explore caught up with us earlier this year to tell us how the club’s work has been a huge success in their local area. Click here!
We love hearing about paddlers efforts to clean up the waterways, remember to tag us in your social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and you may end up on our highlights page! If you have a good news story you'd like to share then send an email to [email protected]
Remember to log your clean up with SAS and us too - fill in our waterways clean up tracker here.
You can even apply to become a Clear Access Clear Waters Community Champion and really shout about how having fair, shared and sustainable access to waters will bring a host of amazing benefits.