Scuba divers help haul up rubbish in River Wensum clean-up

Divers going into River Wensum

Divers prepare to enter the River Wensum during the clean-up. - Credit: Michael Cutting

Scuba divers and canoeists helped volunteers on a litter pick with a difference - as rubbish was removed from Norwich's River Wensum.

Sunday (September 26) was World Rivers Day and volunteers marked the event by ridding a section of the city's river of litter.

Bottles, cans, plastic, paper and even a frying pan and a bicycle were hauled out of the water at the River Wensum autumn clear up event.

Bike fished out of river.

A bike is fished out of the River Wensum. - Credit: Elizabeth H / Goodgym.

Around 30 Norwich Green Party campaigners and members of the local community joined thousands of people worldwide in celebrating the waterways.

Sunday's event focussed on the area of the river near city landmark Pulls Ferry.

Divers from the BiGScuba Podcast plunged into the river to remove rubbish from the bed and sides of the river.

Volunteers from GoodGym - a group of city people who run, walk, or cycle to help out community projects and older people in Norwich - assisted with clearing rubbish on the banks.

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Norwich-based canoe hire company Pub & Paddle supported the event with canoes and boats, so people could paddle out to retrieve plastic polluting the river.

Voluntary Norfolk loaned litter picking packs for the event, while the bags of rubbish which were collected will be taken away by Norwich City Council.

Community clean up group

The community clean-up group at Pulls Ferry in Norwich. - Credit: Michael Cutting

Peter Cutting, who regularly organises the river clean-ups, said: "We got at least as much as we normally do and had about 30 people involved, including children.

"We collected quite a lot of plastic, a lot of cans and then things like traffic cones and even a frying pan.

"And there are so many old bottles on the bottom of the river bed.

"There was a good community spirit and we were pleased with how it went.

"But given there's a lot of bins along the Riverside Walk it is disappointing so much rubbish was thrown into the river."

Ash Haynes, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, said: "Community action such as this is an ideal way to get everyone involved in looking after their local areas.

"And the COP26 Climate Change conference taking place in Glasgow in November will be an ideal opportunity to put pressure on international leaders to take action in their own countries and ensure that our environment is preserved for future generations.”

Rubbish bags

The rubbish which was collected from the River Wensum and the banks around it. - Credit: Michael Cutting