Littered rivers need clearing

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The government has announced a £110m boost for spending on our waterways.

The idea is to improve the health of our rivers, streams and canals to allow wildlife to flourish.

The money will enable us to tackle pollution and invasive weeds which Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said were tasks currently in the “too hard” basket.

She also said that, as part of the package, she wanted more people to become involved in caring for their local waterways.

I am assuming she means she wants people to volunteer to do the work needed which is, of course, very laudable and something which goes on all the time in Derbyshire.

Our own wildlife trust can boast a fantastic backing from local people who carry out a multitude of tasks every week.

However, cutting back the weeds and clearing dams is not all we can do. We also have to make sure that we are not causing the pollution in the first place with our own thoughtlessness.

Out walking at the weekend, I was shocked at the level of litter splattered all over our riverbanks.

When the water level rose and fell during the recent flooding it left behind streams of colourful bunting in the shape of discarded plastic bags.

Not a pretty sight, but one which will have greeted the many visitors who turned out on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy our beautiful landscape.

I am sure there is a plan already in place to clear up the mess before the summer but it is not going to be an easy job.

What we have to do is stop the litter being dropped in the first place and the only way to combat it, seemingly, is to report anything we see so the council can try and prosecute those responsible.

It is not just the rogue traders dumping old kitchens and bathrooms we are after, it is also the picnickers who think leaving their carrier bag full of wrappings next to the rubbish bin, behind a tree or under a rock is acceptable.

If you see anything let us know at news@matlockmercury.co.uk

Amanda Hatfield, editor