Rotary Rid River of Rubbish

The river and the riverside footpaths from Faringdon down to Windsor are a lot cleaner after this weekend after Rotary Clubs across the Thames Valley district have joined together to a river clean up.

The initiative is part of the Million Mile River Clean and End Plastic Soup Rotary campaigns.

Phil Fletcher, District Environmental Team Leader and member of Henley Rotary Club organised the weekend.  He said, “It’s been 6 months planning this event, clubs all throughout the district from Faringdon down to Windsor have been cleaning up rubbish.  Myself and members of Henley Rotary Club have been joined by members of Henley and Upper Thames Rowing Clubs, Henley Sea Cadets, Phyllis Court Kayak section in boats and Henley Mermaids to clean up the river between Shiplake lock and Hurley lock.  It hadn’t rained for sometime so we weren’t expecting much but we got a big pile of rubbish at the end of the day including a child’s bike, a wheel, a cone, tyre and lots of bottles and glass.  A lot of horrible rubbish has come out of the river.  It’s unbelievable. Well it isn’t unbelievable – it’s the name of the game.”

Calum a friend of Maria a Rotary Club member came down to see her on the riverside and decided to help with litter picking along the river.  He said, “I think it’s shocking the amount of rubbish and you don’t really notice it until you start looking.  It’s bad for the environment and the wildlife.  The wildlife could easily be confused by this cigarette butt that just looks like a bit of food.”

Sophie Print, a Henley Mermaid who with her fellow swimmers, Jo Robb, Joan Fennelly and Laura Reineke picked up four bags of rubbish around Medmenham area.  The group are supporting the charity, Surfers Against Sewage this year for their swims.

If you would like to help with future river clean ups, please contact Phil via