14 tyres, 9 traffic cones, 3 trolleys …

On Saturday 15th September 2016 Don Catchment Rivers Trust led their latest volunteer clean-up day by Chapel on the Bridge, Rotherham.

Chapel of our Lady on the Bridge, Rotherham.

The Trust noticed an accumulation of rubbish in the river when out and about planning the route for the Don Valley Way trail. There aren’t many areas in Rotherham town centre that the river is both visible and accessible, so we were keen to do a volunteer clean –up here.

The accumulation of tyres waiting to be pulled out

Part of setting up a clean-up event is to find out who owns the stretch of river, who has responsibility for it, and also talk to any local groups in the area with an interest. On this occasion we were fortunate that Chapel on the Bridge has a dedicated ‘Friends of’ group that had been looking to get the stretch of river cleaned up for a while. Sometimes rubbish in the river is no-one in particulars responsibility, and this is where the ‘Living Heritage of the River Don’ project is often able to help and make a positive impact on a local area.

So, we organised our volunteer clean-up day to coincide with a Friends of the Chapel open day, and they very kindly kept us fuelled with tea and parkin!

Tea and parkin time!

The team pulled out 14 car tyres, 9 traffic cones, 3 shopping trolleys, 2 crowd barriers, a microwave, and a suitcase as well as half a dozen bags of litter from the banks. Rotherham Council agreed to pick up the rubbish on their route, so we took it all up to the street. It was really interesting to see people’s reaction to seeing it all – some people took photos, some people said ‘thank you’, some people expressed their anger at the rubbish. And someone threw a half eaten bag of chips into the river!

Several shopping trolleys were dragged out of the river.
The haul of rubbish and litter from the 50m section of the Don

As usual we would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers that came to help. Also thank you to the volunteers at Chapel on the Bridge for being so welcoming, and to Rotherham Council for taking the rubbish away for us

If you would like to volunteer at the next clean-up day please do get in touch with the Trust on volunteer@dcrt.org.uk or phone 01302 796173.