Last Saturday we worked with the River Stewardship Company on a large clean up event in Sheffield. It was a huge success with 81 volunteers in total removing a huge amount of rubbish from the river.
The event started on Ball Street Bridge near Kelham Island that had been closed for the day so we could set up gazebos for our event. On the bridge we signed up volunteers and provided them with equipment to complete certain tasks in and around the River Don. We were completely shocked by the amount of volunteers who signed up on the day, but were happy that so many people came to make a difference to their local river. It proves that no matter what your age or background you can make a difference by volunteering to improve your local area.
On the day we had planed to construct a bug hotel on the bank at the bottom of Kelham weir. This is always a fun and worthwhile task as it creates a habitat for a whole range of invertebrates, and feels like you’re constructing a home. It is good for getting kids involved and interested in nature and allows them to get creative as they painted a sign for the Hotel, or Bug B+B.
There was a lot of media coverage on the day with the event appearing in a segment on Mondays episode of the One Show. It also appeared in articles in both the Sheffield Star and the Daily Mail. However we were too busy to let this phase us as teams of people entered the river in waders to pick litter from less accessible locations. Both our teams were on hand to ensure every ones safety in the water. We pulled several large items out of the river, such as multiple car bumpers and a few yellow ofo bikes.
Further up stream the people from British Canoeing were out in kayaks collecting litter from the Don. The River Stewardship Company also had their metal boat in the water and were taking volunteers out to pick litter from the areas inaccessible by foot.
Overall we really enjoyed our day in Sheffield and at the end of a long hard days work we felt good because we knew we’d made a positive difference to the Don.