Huge pile of rubbish pulled out of the River Welland in Harborough

The volunteers and the rubbish they collected
The volunteers and the rubbish they collected

This picture shows just one month’s worth of rubbish fished out of the River Welland, where it runs through Market Harborough.

The refuse pile includes four shopping trolleys, at least three large signs, a heater, a pillow and over 20 large bags of litter and smaller items.

It was picked from the river last week in a clean-up by 21 volunteers from the Welland River Pickers, a sub-division of Market Harborough’s Environment Group.

And it all accumulated since the group’s last river pick - just a month ago.

“We cover the river from the Farndon Fields end to the railway station bridge” said group organiser Chris Orme.

“And our volunteers feel they have actually achieved something at the end of a lot of hard work.”

The good news is that a River Welland Trust project officer found the water quality in the river to be “as good as you could expect” said Chris.

Local people will be aware that wildlife, including kingfishers and otters, reappeared in the town river after a major clean-up in 2015.

But of course it would all look a lot better if locals didn’t ditch their shopping trolleys there.

Chris said: “Our volunteers come from all sorts of backgrounds, but we share the common interest that the river should be clean, it’s banks should look good and be free of rubbish so that the otters, birds and fish can survive or thrive.”

Additional pickers this month included four volunteers taking time off work from Market Harborough Building Society, and a Nottingham student studying how rubbish affects British rivers.

There was even a volunteer on a mobility scooter who helped pull the shopping trolleys out of the river.

Chris said: “An extra bonus was the recognition by Lidl of the work the Group did along the river bank behind their store.

“Lastly thank you to the Council for again collecting the rubbish and disposing of it properly.”

Anyone wishing to join the volunteers next month can contact the group through this email address: info@mheg.org.uk