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Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Monday, 23 August 2010 11:43 UK
CSV volunteers clear the River Gipping of litter
By Andrew Woodger
BBC Suffolk

A scuba dive wears a traffic cone on his head
Update: Sixty volunteers and scuba divers helped with the 2010 clean up

A day of litter-picking on a Suffolk river is in its fifth year.

Volunteers and divers organised by CSV will be at the River Gipping in Ipswich on Sunday, 22 August, 2010.

In previous years, they've pulled out bicycles, shopping trolleys and road cones - this year's volunteers will be treated to a post-clean up barbeque.

"It's always a great day out," said Becky Marley, CSV access to nature coordinator. "The more people get involved, the better it is."

A bike is lifted from the River Gipping
Another year, another bike lifted from the River Gipping

The Ipswich Rivers Cleanup started in 2006 as a collaboration between Diveline, CSV and the Greenways Countryside Project, which is responsible for looking after 100 square kilometres of wild areas in the town.

Organisers say that over the previous four years they've collected around 200 shopping trolleys, 80 pushbikes, 10 motorbikes, two washing machines, two blown-open safes, scores of traffic cones and signs, pushchairs, crutches, a sawn-off shotgun and even the proverbial kitchen sink or two.

In 2010, they are focussing on the town centre and are hoping 50-100 litter-pickers turn up.

"We have pulled out less each time we've gone, but there's no doubt it gets 're-stocked' which is disappointing.

"We are making a difference. When it's all pulled out, you think 'my god, I can't believe all that was in there'.

"As well as cleaning up, we will be responding to the concerns of visitors to Alderman Canal by giving people a chance to help tackle the duckweed and algae that covers the surface," said Becky.

"Another conservation activity that people can take part in is mowing and raking the wildflower meadow at West End Road.

"There will also be a chance to appreciate the beauty that was hiding under the rubbish, with guided river walks and bug hunts for the kids."

The event runs from 10am-2pm and volunteers meet at Alderman Recreation Ground outside Ipswich Town's Portman Road stadium.

For safety reasons, volunteers have to fill in a form, but you can do it on the day or in advance:

We hope to have a gallery of photographs from the 2010 Ipswich clean-up on this site after the event.

Beryl Sims at the River Gipping, Bramford
Beryl Sims inspects the rubbish in the Gipping at Bramford

More rubbish up-river

The clean up is Ipswich-based, but just outside the town in Bramford, there's also a problem with litter.

Beryl Sims contacted BBC Suffolk in response to the Don't Be A Tosser campaign.

"There are plastic bottles, cans, carrier bags all caught in the weed and it's just not going anywhere," said Beryl, surveying the Gipping next to the village's road bridge.

"It looks absolutely disgusting.

"It's mainly because of the good weather recently. There were lots of people here enjoying the picnic site, paddling, swimming and in canoes.

"Unfortunately, they left a lot of things behind which we don't want.

"There is a litter bin just a few feet away from the river. I'm sure a lot of people take their rubbish home, but it's a shame because others are spoiling the amenity they enjoy.

"A few volunteers will sometimes go out in a boat and pick up rubbish.

"We get mostly moorhens and ducks nesting and swans occasionally, but they seem to have moved on at the moment. I do often see the kingfisher in the winter and I hear willow warblers, but I don't see them.

"This particular place is one of the few places you don't need a permit to fish.

Items found in the 2010 River Gipping clean up
Shopping trolleys, a telephone and a car battery were also discovered

"Usually anglers take their litter home with them, but there are one or two who dump it in the river where they think it can't be seen.

"If you've got a litter bin and they're not using it, it's a question of education. I don't know how you do that.

"It probably won't improve much while I'm still living here.

"I would really like to see the river clear so that you can just enjoy its natural beauty and you don't have to see all this terrible rubbish."

The Ipswich Rivers Cleanup 2010 featured on the Mark Murphy Breakfast Show on BBC Suffolk on Friday, 20 August, 2010.




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