We are delighted to announce that the West Wales Wales Rivers trust has been awarded £1190 from the Greggs Foundation to purchase tools and safety equipment to allow volunteers to remove plastics and other litters from rivers in our region.
The inspiration came from the Carmarthenshire Fisherman’s Federation whose active volunteer base had identified four particularly litter-polluted tributaries of the River Tywi. The team of dedicated fishing enthusiasts have, for years, noticed the degradation of the rivers in their area and do what they can to combat issues. The group work closely with the West Wales Rivers Trust through our Carmarthenshire Environment and Habitats Group and so when they told us their proposal to remove plastics and other general waste from the Llandelio Dulais, Cennen, Mydyffi and Sannan we wanted to work with them to make the scheme as successful as possible.
Our partners at Carmarthenshire Fisherman’s Federation have already begun their vital works, opening up the waterways for the wildlife that should be free to transit the rivers without impediment. Now, they’ll be able to tackle some of the larger blockages which have required saws, hooks and bars to free the litter which has become tangled amongst tree roots and other barrages. Importantly, we’ll also be able to provide them with waders, high visibility vests, safety glasses and gloves to keep them safe while doing this vital work. Lastly, there’s also a provision for rubble sacks to enable the removal of waste from the sites.
Carmarthenshire Fisherman’s Federation already getting stuck in!
A lot of the waste that has been identified is silage wrap. That’s the plastic layer placed around summer pasture grass to be kept ready to be fed to animals in the winter when the grass doesn’t grow. You’ll recognise this as large black bales in the fields perhaps? Farmers that are supplied with silage wrap are aware that they have a duty of care to ensure that the waste polythene is kept securely before disposal – preferably for recycling. There should be none littering our waterways, and Birch Farm Plastics want to support all Welsh farmers in their efforts to ensure all silage is stored ready for collection off farm. Given that we know these rivers do contain some silage wrap, Birch Farm Plastics are working with the Trust to arrange for any silage wrap recovered following the clean up to be fully recycled into a range of products, and continue to encourage farmers and the public to keep the rivers clean.
Once silage wrap is taken out of the equation, who knows else we’ll discover in there! Thankfully, Carmarthenshire County Council have also come on board with the project to help us remove more of the waste from these remote sites.
Our final partner in this wonderful collaboration is Keep Wales Tidy who will be on hand as much as possible to assist with the cleans using their volunteer-power and expertise.
If you would be interested to volunteer to help with these clean-ups then please contact Tony Loizou who is the lead at Carmarthenshire Fisherman’s Federation.
Trust Development Officer