More than 40 volunteers from the Clean River Kent Campaign (CRKC) collected more than a tonne of rubbish in just a few hours along the river.
In partnership with the Lakeland canoe club, Save Our Rivers, Trash Free Trails and Westmorland Angling Association, the river clean-up on Saturday 2 April highlighted just how much litter is in the landscape.
Volunteers started in Staveley and travelled to Burnside, collecting rubbish along the way.
Isobel Stoddart, CRKC chair said: “It was wonderful to see people of all ages turn out to help clean up the river Kent – a real community effort.
"I think that everyone was both surprised and shocked by the amount of rubbish collected on what appears to be, on first appearance, a relatively litter-free stretch of the river. There was everything from traffic cones to toilet seats, metal pipes and plastic toys. The amount of black plastic and discarded dog poo bags was particularly noticeable.”
Members of the volunteers made their way along the two footpaths either side of the river and members of the Lakeland canoe club collected rubbish from an inflatable raft along the river.
Wyn, a volunteer from Kendal, explained: “Whilst there was a really positive atmosphere, and everyone taking part seemed to have a good time, the huge pile of litter told a very clear story – we need to look after our rivers and stop using them as a rubbish bin.
"Not only is it unsafe for people using the river, but the creatures in the water will also be suffering from all the waste entering the watercourse. Please think before you litter along our precious river – take it home instead!”
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