On Tuesday 10th May, Angling Trust and Fish Legal staff from the Leominster office collected 11 bags of rubbish from 2 miles of the River Lugg in Leominster, as part of a project organised by the Lugg and Arrow Fisheries Association to spring clean 100 miles of this Herefordshire river, which joins the River Wye at Luggsmouth.

Volunteer anglers and conservationists from throughout the catchment have turned out over the past few months to remove mountains of rubbish. Among the all too familiar items such as plastic bags and drinks cans were some unusual finds, including a Boyzone video.

Staff witnessed significant sediment pollution coming into the river from a small tributary of the Lugg at one point. Recent rains had washed huge quantities of soil from nearby farmland. The incident was reported to the Environment Agency.

Above: sediment pollution coming into the river from a small tributary of the Lugg

The Angling Trust is also working with its members and the Environment Agency to promote a Tidy Anglers project. This will see volunteers from angling clubs throughout the country helping to clean up rivers, lakes, canals and beaches throughout England. The Litter Buggy – a pocket-sized device that can safely store line and other small items for disposal at home – is available at a discounted rate for Angling Trust members from www.litterbuggy.co.uk. This ingenious device works very well and prevent unwanted line and hooks falling out of pockets.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said: “Anglers are often criticised for leaving litter and the best defence to this criticism is to show that anglers are part of the solution, not the problem. Of course there are a minority of anglers, as in all walks of life, who don’t respect the environment around them, but we need to demonstrate that they are the exception and not the rule. Hopefully litter clean ups like this will make them, and everyone else who drops litter in or around water, understand that it is not acceptable. Litter is hazardous to people and wildlife, it encourages more anti-social behaviour and spoils the beauty of our country’s waterside environments. Large items such as shopping trolleys can cause flooding.”

Will Smith, Membership Manager at the Angling Trust said: “This was a great opportunity for us all to get out of the office and to find out more about our local river, while making a contribution to the quality of its environment. We were all proud of what we had achieved and we got positive comments from passers-by.”