The Witham catchment contains four major settlements, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford and Boston. Litter is an issue across the catchment, it clogs up our rivers and streams, causes injuries to wildlife (the RSPCA receive 7000 calls a year due to litter related injuries to animals) and people, and degrades water quality when breaking down. It also looks unsightly and can lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour in areas that appear to be uncared for. We don’t think it should be tolerated any longer and are working with others across our area to tackle this issue.
Every year Boston Borough Council organise an ambitious event to clean the whole of Boston, including all of its waterways! They get schools , local businesses, residents and council workers all involved! There is a great community spirit in Boston and everyone gets stuck in to rid their town of litter! 2015 marked the eighth year of the event and saw 238 volunteers sign up to do their bit! Our Project Officer Fiona also went along and saw first-hand the excellent work of everyone involved. Boston we salute you! Keep up the great work! The event takes place in April each year and anyone can sign up, check the Boston Borough Council website for details nearer to the time.
The Witham Catchment has two award winning RiverCare groups, one in Grantham and one in Sleaford.
The Grantham group have been going strong for 10 years now under the leadership of John Knowles with support from his dedicated team. They meet on a regular basis to look after a stretch of the Upper Witham through Grantham. Their dedication saw them win the highly respected title of Best Environmental Community Group in Lincolnshire last year! We have also supported the group to extend their activities to tackle the Invasive Non-Native Species Himalayan Balsam. To find out more about the group please see their Facebook page: Grantham Rivercare
The Sleaford group were set up by our trustee Andrew Greenwood just over three years ago and make a huge difference to the river Slea through the town. The group have gone from strength to strength winning the Lincolnshire Environmental Community Award 2015, following in the Grantham group’s footsteps! Some of their members have also joined our Riverfly Monitoring Project and now help to record changes in water quality on their patch. The group will also be involved in our river restoration work parties in Sleaford. To find out more please see their Facebook page: River Slea Clean-up
We saw a bit of a gap in our catchment when it came to tackling litter – Lincoln seemed to be lacking an annual event or a large group covering the river corridor. So we did something about it and organised a big litter pick on October 10th 2015 in the city along the river Witham! We invited existing groups to take part and the Witham Waste Warriors and the Sea Cadets (supported by Canal and Rivers Trust) kindly agreed to take part. The Waste Warriors covered the East end of Lincoln and picked litter on their stretch near to Stamp End, whilst the Sea Cadets cleaned the river itself. They had a great turnout with 21 volunteers, ages ranging from 5 years to 81 years old! They collected 28 bags of litter, 2 computers and a shopping trolley!
We delivered our part of the event from the University of Lincoln Brayford Campus and South down the Witham to just beyond Dixon Street. We enlisted the valued support of RiverCare, who providedall the kit on the day and much needed organisational support too. The event really would not have happened without their help, namely Andrew! 30 volunteers from Anglian Water and the University of Lincoln turned out on the day. We also had expert "in the water" help from Lincoln Canoe Club! 75 bags of litter were collected from the bankside and the water itself via canoe. Some larger items were also collected; a high chair, a breadbin, folding chair, a tent, 2 bicycle frames, 2 traffic cones, a large banner, and a wheelbarrow! What a sterling effort from all involved, we really appreciated all your hard work!
Many passers-by also commented on how the river had never looked so good, and thanked us for cleaning it up. We also had some good media coverage thanks to Lincolnshire Echo dropping in on the event.
We would like to thank all the volunteers and groups involved on the day, a special thanks to Kevin McCarthy from Anglian Water for rounding up the troops from his office, Amy Gillard from the Students Union for getting so many students signed up, Britt Gallop from Witham Waste Warriors for organising their part of the event, Ruth Bahr for her yummy home baked donations and finally Waitrose for donating food and drink to our hard working volunteers! We hope that a new RiverCare group will form in the South of the city and the University of Lincoln students showed an interest in setting up regular litter picks along the Brayford Pool.
The future for the river Witham is looking a lot brighter!
If you are intrested in setting up a RiverCare group in Lincoln or if you would like to help make this an annual event, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2018 Lincolshire Rivers Trust