This week is National Volunteers Week, a time to celebrate the achievements of RiverCare and BeachCare volunteers throughout the region who give up their spare time to protect waterways and coastlines.
We are extremely proud of all our employees who volunteer their time, and all of the community volunteers who are involved in projects we support. Whether it’s our employees getting involved in local community groups or our community volunteers dedicating time to keeping local waterways clean and healthy through our RiverCare and BeachCare initiatives.
And next week is World Oceans Day so there is lots happening that you can get involved with as well.
The RiverCare and BeachCare programme empowers local communities to set up groups to look after stretches of inland waterways and coastal shorelines. There are currently more than 40 groups in the East of England.
Volunteers are given all the tools, training and support to carry out regular shoreline clean-ups, as well as biodiversity surveys to help their local environment flourish. The groups are supported by Anglian Water and Keep Britain Tidy but they are dependant on dedicated volunteers giving up their time to protect the watery habitats that support thousands of diverse species and play a vital role in our water supply too.
Between them RiverCare and BeachCare volunteers held 319 clean-ups last year, volunteered over 23,000 hours or 958 days of their own time and collected over 10,000 bags of litter, enough to fill 10 dustbin lorries. RiverCare groups throughout this part of the country also took on invasive species, such as Himalayan Balsam. Their vital work has meant our wonderful waterways have become more pleasant for local communities. The litter collected didn’t endanger wildlife, block rivers and streams or find its way to our beautiful beaches.
Wednesday June 8 is World Oceans Day and Cleethorpe BeachCare group is meeting at the Discovery Centre, Kings Road, Cleethorpes at 10am for a day of beachcleaning and fun activities. There will be a wildlife search and a litter survey. Contact Fiona.firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Also on the day East Mersea BeachCare group is holding a beach clean and wildlife hunt from 10:30am to 1pm. There are a whole host of activities to get involved in including a litter pick to help keep the beautiful East Mersea coastline clean, a biodiversity trail to find ray and shark purses, shell identification and a big seaweed search.
There will also be a chance to see marine life under a microscope and take the pledge to keep you shoreline clean and tidy. Natural England will also be at the event giving talks about the importance of the Essex Coast, heritage and bird life.
On Thursday (June 9) Southend Beachcare group will be at Shoebury East Car Park at 10.30am with Southend Association of Voluntary Services for a beach clean and other activities.
For more information or to come along to either Essex event, contact Rob Martyr at: Robert.Martyr@keepbritaintidy.org.
If you can’t make it along during this week’s event but would like to help keep your local river or coastline healthy and full of wildlife then don’t worry. The 40 RiverCare groups in our region meet regularly throughout the year.
More information on RiverCare groups near you can be found at: http://www.keepbritaintidy.org/rivercare