A Monmouth-based firm was asked by the Environmental Agency if they could help clean up the River Wye and they jumped at the chance.
Wye Canoes use the river a lot and make a living from it, and although they are
constantly collecting rubbish when they are on the river, they decided to formally offer to take responsibility for not only the one-off clean up but keeping the river clean on an on-going basis.
The section of the river from Kerne Bridge near Goodrich down to Monmouth which passes through Symonds Yat is incredibly popular with more than 500,000 paddlers each year coming to experience the beauty of the Wye Valley. Although most visitors are very careful to take their rubbish with them, when you combine tourism waste with rubbish from farmers, fishermen and other river users, the problem gets worse.
Stuart Wyley, director of Wye Canoes Ltd felt somebody should be responsible for keeping the area tidy for everyone and as the main river guiding and canoe hire company in the Wye Valley he felt that they were ideally suited to take on the task.
"We had some help from students from Coleg Gwent to clear the section from Kerne Bridge to Symonds Yat, then a bunch of our guides and instructors volunteered their time to clear the section from Symonds Yat down to Monmouth," said Stuart.
"We found a lot of weird debris and we hope the more effort we can make and the cleaner the area can be kept, then the more likely it will be that people will be less tempted to
litter and take home their rubbish to keep the area in which we live and work the beautiful place it is," he added.
They collected about 20 bags of rubbish and various other things like gates, 70ft of plastic tubing, a bag of dead pheasants, sign posts and a lot of bags of dog poo!