Wombourne Kayak club fills three canoes with rubbish during mile-long river litter pick as part of the Million Mile Clean last week.
Zoey Rowe tells us more.
"For many of us at Wombourne Kayak Club the River Severn was our first taste of the open water. (For some of us that was longer ago than we like to admit!). In that time, it has given us much in terms of physical and mental health, never as important as the last 18 months.
"This weekend we took a group of 10 paddlers and two children (ages 5-70) to the River Severn from Dale End to Jackfield Rapids. Telford and Wrekin Council helpfully provided us with litter grabbers, gloves and bags to support the effort and Local Councillor Carolyn Healy was in full support of our activity.
"On a stretch of river we paddle regularly we honestly didn’t expect to gather that much but in fact we were shocked to see the amount and variety of litter we collected. In fact, as Zahid pointed out "We now have enough traffic cones to officially direct traffic."
"Under the magnificent Ironbridge itself, erected in 1781 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was littered with empty beer bottles. The sides of the riverbank were home to empty tins of ham and sweetcorn, clothes, chair and even a mattress with Neil delighted in finding a washing up bowl.
"We removed a lot of choking hazards for swans in the form of degrading plastic bags and fishing lines.
"Using a large extendable pole Rob dragged out bags and plastic from the overhanging trees. We brought our children so that they could help and learn to look after the river too. Samuel and Darcy armed with litter grabbers had lots of fun spotting and chasing rubbish off the bank into the canoes.
"The spectacle drew weekend onlookers who enquired and marvelled at our activity, it was good to see children quizzing their parents who had to uncomfortably explain that we were collecting discarded rubbish.
"After nearly three hours and just over a mile we filled three open canoes with rubbish. Reaching Jackfield Rapids we carefully carried it up the bank for Telford & Wrekin Council to collect.
It was a good day. It's an environment that gives us so much so it felt good to show it some care and attention back and hopefully spark that in the public that saw us and the children we took. We are already planning another activity and hope to open it to more that can join us outside our club. We wholly recommend it – get out there, do some good and feel good!– Zoey Rowe