Floods and high tides leave rubbish on banks of Ribble

WHAT A MESS: The scene on the banks of the Ribble upstream from Preston Docks
WHAT A MESS: The scene on the banks of the Ribble upstream from Preston Docks
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Flood surges and high spring tides have dumped rubbish from throughout Lancashire on the banks of the River Ribble.

Hundreds of bottles have been carried by the Ribble and its feeder watercourses and washed on to the banks.

Reader David Marsden sent in a photograph of rubbish strewn on the banks just upstream from Preston Docks.

He said: “After the recent floods the banks are full of stuff like this; I’ve seen it as far up as Walton-le-Dale and no doubt it extends further upstream.

“While the river level is relatively low I think Preston Council and South Ribble Council should make an attempt to collect all this waste. It’s a danger to wildlife and people who may come into contact with contaminated material.”

A Preston Council spokesman said: “This is a continual problem where people discard their rubbish, which finds its way into watercourses and the river. Unfortunately, light material, particularly plastic bottles etc, floats and gets left behind on the river bank following high tides. We have cleaned this area up previously and will do so again.

“Enjoying a walk or bike ride by the river is a pleasant activity. However, to make it enjoyable for everyone, we ask that people dispose of their litter responsibly, or simply take it home and recycle it.”

This Saturday from 9am till noon, the The Ribble Rivers Trust and Preston Bird Watching and Natural History Society have organised a litter pick along the South Ribble bank of the river, meeting at the bottom of Howick Cross Lane, Penwortham close to the river.

Volunteers are invited to join in the tidy up. Bags will be provided, but gloves and litter picking equipment will be limited, so volunteers should bring these if possible along with suitable footwear.

Last year saw around 100 bags collected in the same location.

South Ribble Council will arrange for the collected waste to be removed and re-cycled where possible.

Gareth Jones, catchment science co-ordinator, at the Ribble Rivers Trust added: “Plastic is a significant problem for the environment, as it can take hundreds of years to break down. “

Up until the past few decades the majority of flotsam in our seas and rivers was biodegradable, now around 90 per cent is plastic.

“Estuarine wildlife is particularly susceptible to its presence as it can restrict mobility, disrupt digestion if consumed and block delicate breathing or feeding structures.”