Helping to highlight the plight of our region’s beautiful rivers, children from years five and six of Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron dedicated a morning to collecting litter from the Afon Aeron with the West Wales Rivers Trust.

The children take part in regular litter-picks with Keep Wales Tidy so when the West Wales Rivers Trust were scouting for volunteers to help them with Spring Clean Cymru the school were eager to do their bit.

Starting in the harbour at low tide the children helped to remove fragmented plastics, ropes and even large metal items from the tidal area before walking alongside the bank of the river to prevent more litter entering the waterway. The event was supported by Keep Wales Tidy who brought along their expertise and equipment and the Rotary Club of Aberaeron who marshalled and got thoroughly stuck in!

“The children were incredibly enthusiastic and thorough” says Kathy James, Trust Development Officer for the West Wales Rivers Trust. “We’d like to take them on a tour of West Wales as we couldn’t ask for a better clean-up team!”

Children from Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron removed around a dozen bags full of litter

The West Wales Rivers Trust was formed in 2017 as an amalgamation of various smaller local groups. The Trust is concerned with river conservation, preserving habitats for wildlife to flourish and educating people about the issues rivers face and the wonders they can contain.

In West Wales, pollution from agricultural run-off and plastics are a particular issue for our river systems. The charity works alongside farmers in the area to encourage best practice for water quality, with fisherman to improve habitats for wildlife and with local volunteers to monitor river health. This recent effort from Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron kickstarts the organisation’s ‘Prosiect Aeron Project’.

The now ‘Spring Clean’ Afon Aeron as it meets the harbour

“Removing litter from the waterway we are able to show a visible improvement. Now we hope to thoroughly survey the river from source to sea to identify any less visible improvements needed for optimal water quality and habitat. We are currently looking for local businesses to help fund this process” adds Kathy.

Any businesses interested in sponsoring ‘Prosiect Aeron Project’ should get in touch with Kathy directly on Kathy@westwalesriverstrust.org to discuss how they may be able to help. The Monachty pub and hotel kindly provided use of their beer garden overlooking the river for our adult volunteers to congregate during the clean-up event.

If you’re feeling inspired to undertake a litter-pick for yourself, Spring Clean Cymru runs until 23rd April. More details can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website.