The River Foss Society has been out in York this weekend to highlight the rubbish that gets dumped in the water and to urge people to think about the environment.
They had on display the 36th and 37th supermarket trolley to be pulled from the water, not an easy task as they become embedded in the silt on the river bed.
They have even found a motorbike in previous clean up operations, which was returned to its owner and apparently, after a bit of work, was soon back on the road!
As well as that they have also recovered a number of bicycles too.
As part of the York Walls Festival, over the weekend, volunteers were out explaining to residents the work that they do to keep this river clean and healthy.
You can meet some of the members in this video clip here
Vice-Chair John Millet and Events Organiser Mike Gray (who appeared in our video) joined other members to explain the aims of the group and gather support.
The supermarket trollies attracted a lot of attention as did the green surface on the river.
Mike told us that it was Duck Weed which happens when you have virtually no current, a lot of sunlight and nitrates in the water.
It’s harmless and gives the river its distinctive green colour. Duckweed is not harmful to any fish or animals living in the pond.
It serves to shade fish and keep the water cooler during the hot summer days.
Tim Rane works in the Aviation Industry and is a member of the River Foss Society.
He uses a paddle board to check to see what has been thrown into the river. He said he was fed up of seeing it full of rubbish so wanted to tackle the problem during lockdown when he was understandably less busy at work.
“It’s the easiest way to get around and take a really close look at what’s going on” He said.
“We take out bags and bags of stuff each time we go in, usually once a month.
“About once every three months we use the City of York council barge too. I would like to see more people use the waterway myself. See them taking out canoes or paddle boards. This weekend we also had a boat up here from the lock downstream.”
Tim told us that there was less rubbish this time as we have had fewer visitors of late but there is still enough to be dealing with.
He hopes that one day more people will consider using the water for recreation activities.
The River Foss Society aims to do the following:
- conserve the river’s natural environment
- prevent pollution in the river
- restore natural habitats along the river for its vegetation, fish and all animals
- improve the river for everyone by making it a better place to walk, fish and enjoy other recreational activities
- help prevent floods in the future by working to control water better