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In between the showers and under a grey sky the team from Thames21, their partners Barefoot Wines and Surfers Against Sewage roused local interest to clean up the shore of the tidal Thames between Barnes Bridge and the area known as Small Profit Dock. See http://www.thames21.org.uk

Thames21

Thames21

It always amazes me how the local authority, Richmond Borough Council and the Port Of London Authority shirk responsibility for keep the shores of the Thames clean, however the PLA place large cages on the shore to aid the clean up of bikes, plastic bags, plastic cups and other unwanted rubbish that gets dumped into the Thames in the hope that strong tides will make it someone elses problem to clean up.

Having lived by the Thames in several locations over the years on both the North and South banks it is sad to see this river polluted with rubbish and sewage. The sewage is down to an antiquated drainage system than can no longer cope and the fact that the Environment Agency still allows dumping of sewage when we get excessive rain fall.

Small Profit Dock, Barnes

Small Profit Dock, Barnes

My greatest concern is the amount of plastic matter which finds itself in the Thames, plastic cups from the brewers and pub operators, plastic bottles from big brand names such as Lucozade and Coke. Worst of all is the amount of blue and white plastic sticks from ear buds…there are simply thousands. Both Youngs and Fuller Brewery should do more locally on the Thames in order to clear up the plastic beer cups.

What would be good for all is for the manufacturers to put bigger icons on their products and for the personal health brands to state not to flush condoms, ear buds and sanitary towels down the toilet. So if anyone at the major super markets Johnson & Johnson, Boots or Lil-Lets reads this please help make our rivers and shore cleaner by taking more responsibility.

Ben Fogle and one of the helpers for the day

Ben Fogle and Elizabeth McLearn Richards one of the helpers for the day.

I was grateful as a local resident to Don Ferris of SAS, http://www.sas.org.uk, Ben Fogle a campaigner, the team at Barefoot Wines for helping to sponsor and Judith Ressler from Thames21 all of who put their time into organising the day and a clean up that was well overdue.

Volunteers for the SAS - Thames21 clean up in Barnes

Volunteers for the SAS – Thames21 clean up in Barnes

During the previous week I had reported on the number of fish kills on this stretch of the Thames. The build up of debris and rotting fish was unpleasant. With the help of local volunteers, others from all over London and Cornwall an afternoons hard graft resulted in 420kg of plastic rubbish being removed. Their reward was the knowledge that the shore was cleaner and they had the chance to try one of the award-winning wines by Barefoot Wines.

A cleaner Small Profit Dock

A cleaner Small Profit Dock

With thanks to all that made the shore and slipway of Small Profit Dock a cleaner place.

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