Tonbridge Canoe Club Removes Rubbish From River

Half A Tonne Of Rubbish

Last month a team of volunteers from Tonbridge Canoe Club took to the River Medway in Tonbridge in a joint clean-up operation as part of the Love Kent Hate Litter and Littergram campaigns.

The clean-up was organised by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council in response to recent reports of abandoned supermarket trolleys at several locations on the river. The ten volunteers from Tonbridge Canoe Club were joined by Tonbridge Flood Wardens on foot as they paddled passed Strawberry Vale, Ashby’s Point, The Botany and Bewley’s Weir to clear litter debris using four empty canoes as large floating bins

In total 440kg (almost half a tonne) of rubbish was collected including 15 shopping trolleys, a fire extinguisher, a bicycle, and large wooden hand rails as well as huge amounts of floating debris, which was collected up and bagged.

While the Environment Agency has primary responsibility for the upkeep of the river, there have been a number of organised clean-ups on the River Medway in the past year resulting in a noticeable impact on the appearance of the river and the environment around it.  Tonbridge Canoe Club’s involvement has been fundamental in achieving this and, with this in mind; the Borough Council will be looking into the possibilities of working with other organisations in Tonbridge to prevent litter in and around the river.

Cllr David Lettington, the Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Environment Services, said: “Many thanks to Tonbridge Canoe Club for the volunteer work they have carried out and I extend my thanks to everyone who helped on the day.  Community involvement has proved to be an invaluable asset to Tonbridge and this latest effort, along with plans to work with other organisations, will no doubt help in continuing to keep the litter-bugs at bay.”

Tonbridge Canoe Club holds an Environmental Champions Award for their efforts in regularly helping to keep the river clean.  The scheme aims to encourage more people to make an extra effort to improve the environment.  It is open to all Tonbridge and Malling residents and anyone can nominate a person or a group to become an Environmental Champion.

To do so, please call the Council’s Environmental Projects Coordinator on 01732 876295 or email

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