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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
River's wildlife is under threat
Egret among rubbish at Tewkes Creek in Essex
An egret stands with rubbish in Tewkes Creek. Pic: David Blackwell
Wildlife workers have warned a river in Essex is at risk from pollution and water sports activities.

The Canvey Island Wildlife Conservation Group say speed boats, water skis and personal watercraft are damaging the banks of Tewkes and Benfleet Creeks.

The group, which claims litter is having a damaging effect on wildlife, staged a major clean-up of the area.

Ray Howard of Castle Point Council said those who cause damage to the area should be named and shamed.

Erosion caused

Mr Howard said: "Those people that are guilty have got to be named and shamed because this is a picturesque area and it is being destroyed by these people who have no respect for the environment.

Dave Blackwell, chairman of the Canvey Island Wildlife Conservation Group, said: "Because it abuts a car park and a large green area it's very easy for certain people in society who don't care about their environment to throw their rubbish.

"The rubbish can cause damage to wildlife, the broken glass can cut their feet and they can get caught up in some of the twisted metal in the creek itself."

Water sports are also causing problems for wildlife, with river craft causing erosion to the banks and marshes.

Mr Howard added: "You don't want to stop people from enjoying themselves, but they do go too fast and despite speed restrictions in all the creeks, they take no notice."

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