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William takes to the water in one-man bid to clean up Broads

PUBLISHED: 16:01 02 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:01 02 September 2018

William Darling is on a mission to ride the Norfolk broads of litter. Picture:The Darling Family

William Darling is on a mission to ride the Norfolk broads of litter. Picture:The Darling Family

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A Norfolk teenager is on a mission to rid the Norfolk Broads of litter.

William Darling with some of the litter and rubbish he has collected from the Norfolk Broads. Picture: The Darling FamilyWilliam Darling with some of the litter and rubbish he has collected from the Norfolk Broads. Picture: The Darling Family

William Darling, from Wroxham, has spent his summer kayaking around the Broads collecting rubbish and litter. The 14-year-old first came up with the idea for the ‘Great Broads Clean Up’ when he was offered a place on a volunteering trip to Tanzania.

Involving a number of tasks including a marine conservation project to clear plastic from beaches, the trip got the keen kayaker thinking about how much litter he saw on the Broads.

Wanting to make a positive difference to his local waterways and in a bid to raise money to fund his expedition to Tanzania, William decided to commit to kayaking and clearing litter from a 100-mile stretch of the Broads.

Now, William, supported by his father, Peter Darling, has collected car tyres, paint cans, plastic bottles, carrier bags and fishing tackle from the river and gained the support of Anglia Water.

William Darling has been kayaking around the Norfolk Broads collecting litter. Picture: The Darling FamilyWilliam Darling has been kayaking around the Norfolk Broads collecting litter. Picture: The Darling Family

He said being on a kayak made the job of getting to the litter easier: “The majority of rubbish is trapped in reeds, under over-hanging trees or in dense bushes- picking it up from my kayak is a lot easier and safer.”

Impressed by William’s hard work, Anglian Water has stepped up as one of the teenager’s main sponsors, Lu Gilfoyle catchment and coastal strategy manager said: “It’s fantastic to see William taking personal responsibility for where he lives and we’re proud to support him in this impressive challenge.”

Also receiving sponsorship from the Norfolk Yacht Agency, Herbert Woods and Norfolk Broads Direct, William said: “The support I’ve had with funding has been great, it has definitely kept me going every day and I’ve now covered more than 100 miles of river in my kayak and the Broads are looking a lot smarter.”

“I’ll continue to kayak and litter pick on weekends and evenings until the job is done but if anyone locally has a kayak and wants to come and join me, I would welcome the help.”

To follow William’s progress, or to join the Great Broads Clean Up visit William’s blog at: petexann.wixsite.com/broadscleanup

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