River Care Clean Up Events
What is Rivercare?
River care is an community event which gives
the river a complete clean by having teams of local groups and
members of the public clean up in and around the river.
Anyone can take part and help litter pick
around the banks of the river.
You can even watch the divers pull out the
numerous trolleys, bicycles, traffic cones and other dumped items
that get discarded in the river every year.
Along with litter picks you can earn pin
badges and certificates when you attend 4, 8 and 12
Regular attendees include-
Bedford Sub Aqua Divers
Viking Kayak Club
27th April - meeting at the Queen's Bridge in Queen's
20th July- meeting at Town Bridge (outside the Rowing Club)
28th September- meeting point to be confirmed.
27th April 2013-
The first Rivercare of 2013 was again a rainy
day but volunteers (on foot, on kayak and in the water) braved the
weather to collect 25 bags of general waste, 7 bags of
recyclable waste, a length of carpet, a wicket basket, a broken
radio, a cash till, a cash box, a scooter, a bike, 2 long pipes, a
footpath closed sign, various pieces of metal and cardboard, a bike
seat, a garden gate, 3 bike wheels, a cooking pot, a vase, a cable
tray and a bath.
This event also formed the launch of a new project to help
enhance the river corridor more details of this project can be
found on the Riverside Path
29th September 2012-
The last rivercare of the year was focussed on the Aspects area
of the river and gave us a chance to see that last years mural
(under Longholme Way) was still ongoing strong. This event was
supported by 14 kayakers from the Viking Kayak Club and the Sub
Aqua divers cleared the section of water near Newnham Bridge. 43
volunteers attended on the day, collecting 32 bags of litter, a
safe, a bike, scooter, cash register tray, bath, tyres, spotlight,
metal drum, posts, lots of glass bottles and a tennis racket and
22nd August 2012-
event was held in the evening- and we covered the same area as the
July event so the divers could get in this section of the water. We
had 6 Street Champions covering the banks, a team of 8 divers and 2
staff from The Environment Agency out in their boat. We hired a 12
yard skip for the rubbish- and we filled it! Among the haul was 23
bags of litter, 3 shopping trolleys, 2 bicycles, 2 life rings, 2
for sale signs, big piece of wooden fencing, lots of metal, tyre, 3
roadsigns, black guttering, cash box, boombox, anchor, kids scooter
and lots of bike locks without keys!
7th July 2012-
This event focussed on the Prebend Street area of the river.
Unfortunately the only group we had in the water were the Kayakers
as we had cancelled the dive due to the weather forecasts. The
day actually turned out fine and 24 volunteers took part
clearing 37 bags of litter, a bike chain and 3 life rings. We
also got the chance to meet some of the new Junior Street Champions
who earnt their special volunteer pin badge as well as taking
part in the litter scavenger hunt. Refreshments were kindly
supplied by Tesco.
28th April 2012-
This event focussed on the Queen's Bridge area of the river in
Queen's Park. Despite the heavy rain and the water current being
too dangerous for the divers to attempt entering the river, 11
volunteers braved the conditions to pick up 19 bags of litter, a
tent base sheet, plastic tub and a suitcase. The Environment Agency
were able to use their boat on the river and cleared 4 shopping
trolleys, a lawnmower, kids quad bike and motor scooter from the
24th September 2011-
Our biggest and most ambitious Rivercare
event to date and also the best attended- with a record 117
volunteers attending to take part in the activities on the day.
Two diving groups took part; Bedford Sub Aqua Divers and Bedford
Scuba Divers and they pulled lots of weird and wonderful items from
the river. This included a boat, a massive concrete holder, 12
shopping trolley, 4 bicycles, roadsigns, a wheelbarrow, a garden
strimmer and lots of metal. Volunteers on the banks cleared 33 bags
of general litter and a further 12 bags of recycling.
With thanks to local illustrator Scarlett Tierney
and the Newnham Ward Councillor, Kristy Adams ,volunteers also had
the opportunity to paint a brand new mural in the subway under
Longholme Way. Volunteers also helped to paint the nearby
50 tree whips of rowan and birch were also planted in the area
in front of the Sea Cadet Unit and along Longholme Way. Pride in
Bedford hosted a number of fun games for the children that attended
to play to win some great prizes which were all donated by local
Thanks to all of all sponsors for this event which include;
Eagle IPA, Jordans, Coo-Var Paints, Dulux Trade Paints (Akzo
Nobel), Macdonalds High Street and Aspects Stores, Gibbs and Dandy,
Hyspec, Mr Simms Sweet Shoppe Bedford, Thorntons and Little Monkey
9th July 2011-
This Rivercare took place around the Prebend
Street bridge area and it was the first time the Divers had been in
this section of the river and they were very busy indeed! 13
bicycles were pulled out, 4 shopping trolleys, 3 roadsigns, a
motorcycle, laptop, 2 chairs frames, bed frame and even a tea
service with some pan lids, baking trays and even some spatulas!
With thanks to the volunteers that attended (34 volunteers in
total) and the Kayakers who filled up 28 bags full of litter
and a further 20 full of litter which went for
30th April 2011-
The first Rivercare event for
2011 concentrated on the 'Paddlers' Area of the river
in Queen's Park. As the event took place the day after
the Royal Wedding , Rivercare took on a 'royal' feel. So as well as
tacking the litter in and around the river there were 'royal'
refreshment and crown decorating for the children. 32
volunteers attended on the day and included the Divers managed to
clear a lot of litter from the water and the banks. 28 bags of
general litter were collected along with a shopping trolley, 3
safes, car parts, peice of carpet, bed frame, 3 road signs, tyres,
bicycles, pieces of metal, big piece of foam insulation, 2 hoovers,
printer, lots of clothing and glass bottles.
25th September 2010-
The last Rivercare of the year took place at Aspects and met at
the Sea Cadet Unit. Volunteers from Sub Aqua Diving Club entered
the water at Newnham Bridge and cleared rubbish from the local
area. The Environment Agency, Sea Cadets and Kayakers also took to
the water to remove the litter from the surface and sides of the
river. Local residents, Macdonalds staff, and St Andrews Cubs and
Scouts and Polhill Explorers all tackled the
river banks and surrounding areas clearing a massive 60 bags of
litter. (There were 76 volunteers in total). There was also an
appearance from the ShakeAway cup mascot and Flynn the Bin
Elf. Special thanks to Macdonalds for the food vouchers that
were also given out on the day. The river haul included 60 bags of
litter, 6 shopping trolleys, 8 bicycles, a deck chair, 7 traffic
cones, 8 roadworks signs, a street nameplate, oil drum, scaffold
poles, dog waste bin and more metal items.
3rd July 2010-
This rivercare took place next to the Town
Bridge with volunteers from Bedford Sub Aqua Divers taking to the
water on town side of the river. 42 volunteers took part on the day
to clear 44 bags of rubbish. The river haul was much smaller than
expected and included lots of hub caps, 7 road signs, 6 cones,
breeze blocks and an old cooking pot.
The event was also supported by The Swan Hotel who supplied
refreshments on the day.
24th April 2010-
The first Rivercare event for 2010 took place along
the Queen's Park stretch of the river. 47 volunteers attended on
the day which included volunteers from Charles Wells, Bedford Sub
Aqua Divers and Viking Kayak Club. 66 bags of litter was collected
and among the river haul was 3 shopping trolleys, 2 car batteries,
9 bicycles, 3 tyres, motorbike frame, traffic cone, 2 kids
scooters, a gate and many other pieces of metal and fencing.
The last Rivercare event for 2009 took place
at the Aspects part of the river. An astonishing 85 people attended
on the day making it a record number for volunteers! Volunteers
included many beavers, cubs, scouts and viking explorers from the
St Andrews Scout Group. 63 bags of litter were collected as well as
3 shopping trolleys, 7 bicycles, a moped, 3 cones, 2 chairs, a
safe, bedstead, 2 kids scooters and many other items.
29th July 2009-
This rivercare took place in the Town stretch
of the river behind Town Hall. Attended by Viking Kayak Club and
the Sub Aqua Divers this mini event aimed to clean up the river
ahead of the Britain in Bloom judges visit.
27 volunteers took part removing 25 bags of
litter as well as 2 trolleys, 3 bicycles, 5 cones, 2 bollards,
metal railing, metal pole, car battery and a printer among other
11th July 2009-
This rivercare took place in the Kempston Mill
Area near the footbridge. 23 volunteers attended on the day
including members from the Sub Aqua Divers and Kayak Club.
Some of the rubbish removed in and around the river included a
car boot, pushchair, car battery, car seat, video recorder,
shopping trolley, lots of pieces of metal and 20 bags of
25th April 2009-
The first Rivercare of 2009 was a tremendous success
with 70 volunteers attending on the day. The day dubbed 'Queen's
Park goes Wild' was located at the Queen's Bridge down the
Bedford Sub Aqua Divers found all manners of
rubbish in the river including 2 cash tills, 9 bicycles, 2 shopping
trolleys, traffic cone, tyres, office chair, metal bucket, kids
scooter among other things.
Volunteers on the bank and the Kayakers filled
63 bags with litter from in and around the river.
The event also featured BTCV creating a seasonal
pond with help from Mayor of Bedford, Frank Branston. There was
also a wood carving demonstration, an appearance from Dragon's Den
star Max McMurdo and a children eco planter challenge.
The last River care of 2008 saw a record turn
out of 26 volunteers from the Viking Kayak Club attend to help
members of the public remove litter from in and around the
In total 45 bags of litter were removed from in and around the
river. Other items collected included a shopping trolley, four
bicycles, 2 safety life rings, a child’s toy and a tyre.
26th April 2008-
60 members of the public along with the Sea Cadets,
Environment Agency and Viking Kayak Club attended this event.
61 bags of litter were removed with the river
along with three shopping trolleys, three tyres, a piece of
polystyrene, five safety rings, two wooden pallets and a Barbie
After the litter pick the children were
invited inside the Sea Cadet Hut to make their own designs out of
rubbish. The creations included a bird feeder, vases, spaceships,
robots and boats.
22nd September 2007-
As part of the final Rivercare of 2007, a duck
race was held on a small stretch of the River Ouse. 500 plastic
yellow ducks were released onto the river and the winning ducks
brought their owners prizes donated by local businesses at Aspects