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Vow to clean up rubbish washed up on side of River Witham in Lincoln

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 16, 2013

Once picturesque: Rubbish has been dumped on the banks of the River Witham near Spa Road. Bottles and cans are spread across a large area of ground. Pictures: John Jenkins

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Environment officers from the City of Lincoln Council have vowed to clean up rubbish washed up on the side of the River Witham.

It comes after complaints have been made by nearby residents about empty bottles, wrappers, furniture and even motorbike helmets littering the banks.

Chris Sargeant walks his dog along the water, off Spa Road, near Monks Road, twice a day.

But he told the Echo that the once-picturesque area had been left to deteriorate in recent months and that something needed to be done.

"I walk the dog along the bank by Wyman-Gordon twice a day and the rubbish is really bad," he explained.

"There's stuff in there like motorbike helmets, drawers from chests of drawers and things like that just washed up at the side.

"There's loads of beer bottles, cans, pop bottles and everything. And you can tell they've been there for quite some time because all of the labels have faded away.

"I've been in touch with the council about it, the river authority and Anglian Water and no one seems to know whose responsibility it is to clean it up.

"When my wife and I first moved to this area, we were surprised at how picturesque it was. There were trees lining the banks, herons in the area and we even saw a kingfisher down there one time.

"But over the last few years, it's just got worse and worse. All the trees have been hacked down, there's rubbish everywhere and hardly any wildlife left.

"If the rubbish has come from the recent flooding, where did it come from? It must have accumulated somewhere in order to get so bad. It's not just come from the odd person walking along the bank.

"It's even worse near Stamp End lock and when they open the flood gates, it all washes through.

"Someone needs to take responsibility and get the area cleaned up."

The land along the River Witham is owned by various people and bodies, including the City of Lincoln Council.

Shane Harrison, cleansing services officer at the city council, said that when the land had dried out from the recent floods and was no longer deemed unsafe, the authority would take up responsibility for what it could.

He said: "The area here has flooded and as a result of the water rising and falling, the litter has got trapped on the land because the reeds have acted as a sieve.

"We have been down and had a look at the areas of land we own and will be cleaning those up as soon as it is safe to do so.

"However, there are areas of land along Stamp End that have been littered which we do not own, so we would not be able to clear those areas."

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  • lesanto  |  February 17 2013, 7:05PM

    The litter gets into the water by a variety of routes. It's thrown in at various places, especially the Brayford and Stamp End. Litter discarded on or near the river and canal banks blows in. A lot of stuff is deliberately dumped in, I've seen TVs, mattresses, coffee tables, chairs and motorbikes in the river at the Spa Street end. Might I presume the council will be serving clean up orders on the owners of the land not under council control? And finally: "when they open the flood gates" - Flood gates? Stamp End has a weir and a lock, the lock has gates on the downriver side and a guillotine gate on the upriver side. The 'gates' are to allow boats in and out the lock. They are not 'flood gates' as such - the water level above the lock (Brayford side) is controlled by raising or lowering the sluices in the weir at Stamp End.

    |   -2
  • Ian_Heighton  |  February 16 2013, 2:01PM

    Sounds like a job for "Community Service" or Prisoners

    |   13
  • Localperson55  |  February 16 2013, 10:05AM

    "However, there are areas of land along Stamp End that have been littered which we do not own, so we would not be able to clear those areas." It's a shame the council do not have the authority to clear up private land and then bill the owner.

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