September 23, 2008

Families Fish Out 135 Tonnes of Rubbish

RUBBISH weighing the same as three great white sharks was dredged from a Tyneside burn in a clean-up.

People living near Monkton Burn, South Tyneside, took part in a tidy-up, removing waste to cut the risk of flooding and make it more attractive to wildlife.

The event, organised by the Living Waterways project and the Tyne Rivers Trust, aimed to make residents aware of just how much rubbish ends up in local watercourses and to improve the appearance of the area.

In total 135 tonnes of waste are removed from streams every year in South Tyneside.

On the day, six tonnes of rubbish was pulled out of the burn.

Jessica Grinsted, Living Waterways project officer, said: "This was the second clean-up we've held along the Monkton Burn, and it was good to see the section we targeted last time had stayed much clearer of rubbish.

"It was also fantastic to have so many people volunteering their time to improve their environment, and I hope they feel proud of the difference they've made."

The Living Waterways project is a partnership project between Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Durham Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency, aiming to work with local communities to reduce flood risk and improve urban streams for people and wildlife.

The project has been working in the Monkton Burn area for the last year providing community events and activities.

Tyne Rivers Trust is an independent charity, established to assist in managing and improving rivers and streams in the Tyne Catchment. Following on from the Living Waterways project, the Tyne Rivers Trust wishes to support enthusiastic volunteers in forming a Monkton Burn River Watch group to raise awareness of river issues, discourage littering, remove invasive species, monitor river life species and continue improving the area for local residents and wildlife.

The clean-up was also supported by South Tyneside Council.

If you live close to the Monkton Burn and are interested in helping to improve the area or would like more information, contact Jessica Grinsted at Northumberland Wildlife Trust on (0191) 284 6884 or [email protected]

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