Calls to clean up Norwich’s river

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 December 2011

Gwen Maka takes another trip along the river near Hellesdon Meadow to collect more rubbish dumped in the water.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Gwen Maka takes another trip along the river near Hellesdon Meadow to collect more rubbish dumped in the water. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk

Calls have been made to clean up Norwich’s river after a canoeist collected six large bin bags worth of rubbish from a small stretch of the water.

Gwen Maka took to the water in her boat on a mission to clear up the litter after spotting the problem while out with Eagle Canoe Club.

The 63-year-old managed to fill half a dozen black bin bags with rubbish collected between Halfords on the inner ring road and the Gibraltar Gardens in Heigham Street.

Now, she is calling on more to be done to help keep our river free from rubbish.

Mum of three Ms Maka, who is retired, said: “There’s always talk about rubbish and litter on the streets but there’s no mention about the amount of rubbish which is thrown into the river.

“It’s an environmental issue, a danger to wildlife and it’s visually really horrible. It spoils the river for everyone and ought to be highlighted.”

It is not known how the rubbish got into the river and whether it was done purposely or if the litter had blown from off the street into the water.

People can be fined £80 if they are caught littering and Norwich City Council will also investigate reports of litter thrown from a vehicle.

A City Hall spokesman said: “We are committed to playing our part in keeping Norwich a safe and clean city.

“We employ contractors to remove litter from publicly-accessible areas, including the river and river banks.

“Littering is an offence and we would encourage members of the public to report any issues to us.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said they would only take up the matter if the rubbish was causing a blockage or if it was a pollutant.

To report any incidents of littering, call Norwich City Council’s customer contact team on 0344 980 3333, fill in a form on their website or email

Are you trying to clean up the area where you live? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email

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