On Friday 22 March, Thames Water and local volunteers joined forces for what turned out to be a successful litter picking event along the New River Path.

As one of a number of community litter picks planned for the Great British Spring Clean 2019, the focus of this event was on tackling litter along the river path on what was the 25th World Water Day. The route is enjoyed by many locals and visitors on a daily basis, but unfortunately is at times mistreated by others who don’t take time and care to dispose of litter responsibly.

Mayor of Broxbourne, Councillor Carol Crump, was also present to launch the event with words of gratitude and encouragement for all volunteers involved:

“Litter poses huge damage to ecosystems, which in turn affects the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Together we aim to celebrate the New River which runs through the Borough, and will work to clear whatever litter and rubbish we come across. 

“Our Borough is a clean, green and pleasant place in which to live, work and visit. Let’s continue to work together and keep it that way!”

In a community spirited atmosphere, the volunteers walked from St Catherine’s Road along the New River path to High Road, Broxbourne covering approximately 2.4Km of the New River Path and collecting a total of 60 bags of litter containing anything from small fly-tipped items to discarded bottles, cans, plastics and bags of dog faeces.

Asides from the popularity of its beautifully developed paths, the New River remains an essential part of London’s water supply, carrying up to 8% of London’s daily water consumption. The grassed river path is reserved for sole enjoyment and use by the general public, also featuring a few hard surface sections for wheelchair access. Notices are in place to remind users of the route to take litter home, keep dogs on leads and clean up after them, and not interfere with wildlife, along with other safety guidelines.

Volunteers from Thames Water and the Council’s own ‘adopt-a-street’ programme played a pivotal role in the success of the Broxbourne New River path clean up.

Richard Aylard, Thames Water’s Director of External Affairs and Sustainability, said: “World Water Day is a great opportunity to help our customers, and those of the future, learn about where their water comes from and how precious a resource it is, as well as how to avoid fatbergs and blockages in the sewers. We all need to do what we can to protect the environment and events such as this go a long way to raising awareness and changing behaviour.”

This form of community action makes a real difference, helping the Council to maintain the local environment, making it a more enjoyable place for its residents and visitors. Groups and individuals of all ages and abilities are encouraged to volunteer at litter-picks in their neighbourhood. To register your interest, please email streetcleansing@broxbourne.gov.uk.

More information can be found at www.broxbourne.gov.uk/Adoptastreet.