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Big River Clean sees volunteers clear up the Cleddau catchment

A project aiming to clear litter from the Cleddau Estuary has resulted in over 250 bags of litter being removed by volunteers and organisations working with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Inspired by the award-winning SWEPT project and organised by National Park Authority Ranger Daniel Wynn, the Big River Clean focussed on eight sites along the Cleddau catchment, with over 500 hours of volunteer time donated to help the cause.

WADE TO GO: 91 volunteers spent over 500 hours picking 256 bags full of litter along the banks of the Cleddau rivers as part of the National Park Authority’s Big River Clean project.
WADE TO GO: 91 volunteers spent over 500 hours picking 256 bags full of litter along the banks of the Cleddau rivers as part of the National Park Authority’s Big River Clean project.

The litter collected and recycled included 2,807 plastic bottles, 1,271 cans and 461 glass bottles, as well as a whole range of other larger items including gas canisters and carpet.

Ranger Daniel Wynn said: “It has been very satisfying to see so many people from the local communities around the Cleddau willing to give up their time and energy to protect their sections of foreshore and river.

“Whilst this project has served to highlight the power of the masses to take action against plastic pollution, it may surprise some people that believe that all marine litter comes from the ocean, as much of this waste undoubtedly originates from further upstream in Haverfordwest.

“With this kind of attitude, I really believe we can undo the damage done to this area but further measures need to be taken, along with a targeted education programme to stop the flow of litter entering the river, otherwise all this hard work could be undone in just a matter of years.”

Through a series of surveys and meetings with local community council members and landowners, Daniel was able to identify key locations along the foreshore where litter collects due to the tide and wind conditions.

These were then tackled by the army of volunteers who helped collect the litter before it was separated for recycling.

The National Park Authority staff and volunteers were joined by individuals and organisations including Keep Wales Tidy, National Trust, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, Milford Haven Port Authority, Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the Department of Work and Pensions.

To find out more about volunteering opportunities with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority visit www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/volunteering.

Published 10 December 2019


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