Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Local charity volunteers go fishing for rubbish in the Lune

Maritime Volunteer Service's Nick at Halton Army Camp with the rubbish collected on the day from the River Lune

Volunteers from the local Morecambe Bay unit of national charity the Maritime Volunteer Service, conducted a litter pick with a difference on Bank Holiday Monday - on the River Lune, using a boat!

The Lune is teeming with wildlife including swans, salmon and otters - and organisations such as The River Lune Trust are working hard to improve the quality of the water. Litter isn't just unsightly but has a negative effect on the river's wildlife - it could easily trap an animal.

Litter can also present a hazard to river users, having the potential to foul propellers and, with the river flowing straight into the Irish Sea, the impact isn't just local.

Local people have participated in organised BeachClean events for many years but this is thought to be the first time anyone's done it afloat.

"Our unit teaches nautical skills" said Nick, one of the organisers, "and so it seemed like a logical idea to add an extra dimension one of our training sessions.

"It's more difficult to manoeuvre a boat at slow speed in moving water, and so trying to aim for fixed or floating litter is great practice."

The unit's boat is an ex Royal Marines rigid raiding craft, designed to land on beaches, so it's perfectly suited to getting up against the river bank where other small boats may struggle.

The volunteers collected six bags of rubbish - most of which will hopefully be recycled - as well as a large traffic cone and motorbike parts.

"Lancaster City Council were very helpful," Nick says. "After we made contact through their website they were more than happy to provide us with litter grabbers, gloves and rubbish bags.

"They will also be collecting the bags we've collected to save us having to dispose of them ourselves."

• If you want to know more about the Maritime Volunteer Service you can visit their national website www.mvs.org.uk or for more local information www.mbaymvs.weebly.com

• Twitter:  @MBayMVS • Instagram:  www.instagram.com/#MBayMVS • Facebook:  www.facebook.com/MBayMVS

Lancaster City Council will supportanyone wanting to organise a community litter pick - you can get more details from their website

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