Volunteers Join Sir Steve and Warriors on Waste for Regatta River Clean-Up

Equipped with paddleboards provided by local SUP company Go with the Flo, and litter pickers and boxes provided by Lynne Lambourne, a group of 26 volunteers gathered to clean the river along the Regatta Course yesterday (Monday),  after the event finished on Sunday.

The team included Diamond Jubilee Competitors from the local Henley Rowing Club, as well as rowers, pupils, parents and teachers from Shiplake College. Rubbish was collected, sorted and disposed of with the help of Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of the Committee of Management and local environment campaigner, Lynne Lambourne.

“The clean-up has been carried out in true Henley Royal Regatta spirit, and I can’t thank enough the contribution and camaraderie shown by the volunteers here today. The river is central to Henley in many ways, and while we don’t own the Regatta or the river, we strive to look after it as best we can,” Sir Steve Redgrave said.

Lynne, who set up Warriors on Waste five years ago, said: “I was pleasantly surprised at how clean the river was considering it had just hosted such a significant event. As always the main polluter was the single-use plastic water bottles, but we also found glass bottles, paper coffee cups and even an old tent which we managed to haul out of the water. There were very few takeaway boxes which means the bins and waste removal services must be working.  Monitoring the state of the river after large events is important as we can learn what type of waste is polluting the river and identify companies that may need to improve their sustainability and the waste disposal systems that they offer.  It was a fun morning and I was thrilled that Henley Royal Regatta seemed to be doing such a good job hosting an event that takes sustainability to its heart. Thank you to everyone who joined us.”

Kat Green, Director of External Relations at Shiplake College, said: “We are so pleased to have been able to help Henley Royal Regatta and the local community by providing volunteers to help with this morning’s river clean up. It was great to see smiles on faces and teamwork taking place for navigating close to the riverbank to collect the rubbish. A number of the pupils have asked if we can make this an annual event and we as a College community will definitely be looking to arrange or help with more river clean-ups in the future.”