• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

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River clean-up marks Big Spring Clean launch

203Dumped waste will be removed from a river and rubbish will be cleared from ancient woodland to mark the start of this year’s Big Spring Clean.

The clean-up operation will be held around ancient woodland in the River Gaunless in Bishop Auckland and a litter pick will take place further along the river in West Auckland.

Both events will be held on Wednesday 24 February and signify the launch of the Big Spring Clean 2016, which is run by Durham County Council, Darlington Borough Council and LitterFree Durham.

The campaign, now in its sixth year, calls on local litter legends to roll up their sleeves and help rid their communities of strewn litter.

It continues to attract new volunteers as well as those who commit themselves to the cause year-on-year to make the event a success.

The Environment Agency will be clearing a large tree stuck on a weir, which could cause potential flooding, from the river behind King James Academy – an area where there is a large amount of rubbish which has been dumped. While on site, Environment Agency staff will be supporting partners to help clear up the river debris.

Environment Agency officers will work alongside the council’s Civic Pride and Clean and Green teams and will ensure the natural environment and habitats are respected.

Then the Skill Mill, a not-for-profit social enterprise which provides employment opportunities for 16 to 18 year olds, will remove flytipping and detritus from the river water and riverbanks in West Auckland, supported by the council.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “This is a good opportunity to clear the river and surrounding areas of waste and litter while promoting this year’s Big Spring Clean campaign.

“While we don’t need volunteers for these particular clean-ups on the River Gaunless there will be many other opportunities and we are inviting established or new groups to sign up to take part in cleaning and greening up their communities.”

Ian Hoult, the council’s neighbourhood protection manager, added: “Last year’s campaign saw a fantastic turnout across County Durham and Darlington with nearly 2,000 people giving up over 3,500 hours of their time.

“But this year we would like to challenge even more litter legends to sign up and get involved – and help us do even better this time round.”

Andy Foster in the Environment Agency’s operations delivery team in the North East said: “The Environment Agency normally only removes debris that could cause an obstruction and create a flood risk.

“But the annual Spring Clean is a great opportunity to pool resources with Durham County Council and other partners, such as The Skill Mill, to clear all litter and debris we find in the rivers and have a thorough clear out.

“Previous spring cleans have been successful, with items such as tyres, shopping trollies and traffic cones being pulled from the water.

“Flytipped rubbish is not only unsightly, but could increase the risk of flooding in bad weather if it gets washed further downstream.”

Register to take part in a clean-up event in County Durham by emailing litterfreedurham@durham.gov.uk or call 03000 261 000. In Darlington email litterfreedurham@darlington.gov.uk or call 01325 406 648.

For more information visit www.durham.gov.uk/bigspringclean and people can Tweet about what they have been doing to @DurhamCouncil and @darlingtonbc using #BigSpringClean2016 and #LitterLegends

By admin