THANK YOU EVERYONE who joined the group which was established six years ago to preserve our beautiful habitat, by striving to keep the wooded towpath and Thames foreshore clean and free of harmful litter.

During our 142 clean ups with nearly 2,000 volunteer hours, over 1,000 bags of rubbish were collected from the 3 mile stretch of towpath and foreshore. You name it, we bagged it: hundreds of plastic bottles, cups, food trays, ear bud sticks, plastic straws, bags, dog poo bags, cans, bikes, tools, shoes, ropes and clothing. And then there are all the toiletries washed up with the tide following a sewage release: wipes, condoms, syringes, panty liners, just to name a few.

Our collaboration with Richmond Council has been vital as they provided equipment, efficient collection of our findings and the installation of 10 new rubbish bins along the towpath. Habitats & Heritage has given us wonderful, ongoing technical assistance.

We are encouraged by the impact of our efforts to reduce wilful littering. We are often thanked by passers-by for having made such a noticeable difference.

It is all good work but is by no means enough! The tide is relentless in its offerings, with the sewage and related debris continuing to be pumped into the Thames. What goes down the loo or drain can go into the river, as can debris tossed onto the towpath. It is all harmful to us and our environment.

To help create a litter-free habitat, we should all:

  • Reduce, Reuse and Refuse single use plastics and coffee cups
  • Deposit rubbish responsibly
  • Flush only Paper, Pee and Poo down the loo
  • Join clean up groups