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Canoeists get ready to clean up River Wensum in an unusual litter pick

PUBLISHED: 16:29 15 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:29 15 September 2017

Chantal Verlinden, left, and Nick Hanington, of Pub and Paddle, who have teamed up with Lottie Williams, programme officer of Rivercare and Beachcare, in the Keep Britain Tidy and Anglia Water project to collect rubbish from the rivers from their canoes. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chantal Verlinden, left, and Nick Hanington, of Pub and Paddle, who have teamed up with Lottie Williams, programme officer of Rivercare and Beachcare, in the Keep Britain Tidy and Anglia Water project to collect rubbish from the rivers from their canoes. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

The Wombles famously went underground, but these environmentally minded volunteers will be going over water for their tidy up.

It will be a litter pick with a difference, when volunteers take to the water in canoes to help clean up Norwich’s River Wensum.

The unusual clean-up is the first event to be organised by the Pub and Paddle Rivercare volunteer group.

And appropriately, it will be taking place on World River Day.

The event has come about after Pub and Paddle, a Canadian canoe hire company based at the Red Lion pub in Bishopgate, joined forces with RiverCare, a project managed by Keep Britain Tidy and funded by Anglian Water.

RiverCare encourages local communities to take pride in their environment and come together to maintain and enhance it for future generations.

They have formed the new group to help keep the city’s waterway clean and rubbish-free.

The waterborne litter pick will see the group of volunteers paired up in Canadian canoes to pull rubbish out of the water.

Chantal Verlinden, from Pub and Paddle, said: “A few weeks ago we had someone come canoeing and she works for a project called RiverCare and BeachCare, which organises clean-ups of our rivers and beaches.

“Then the idea came that we run a canoeing company and we have all of these canoes available, so why not put them to good use and go into the city centre for a clean-up of our own?

“We often have people who go out canoeing and come back with cans or plastic bottles or other bits of rubbish that they have fished out of the river.

“We have such a beautiful stretch of river in Norwich and it is home to a lot of ducks, swans and fish.

“We just want to make sure it’s clean and safe for the wildlife, and it looks nice for visitors who pass the river as well.”

The clean-up will take place on Sunday, September 24.

It will start at 3pm and end at 6pm at the latest.

All 10 volunteering spaces have been booked, but if people want to be added to the reserve list, they should email info@pubandpaddle.com

People who sign up will need to have experience of canoeing.

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