Borders clean teams defy the elements down by the riversides

The second Great Borders River Clean was a huge success, despite the weather and high river levels.More than 450 volunteers last weekend collected in excess of two tons of rubbish. This was a remarkable amount considering that most of the heavy items like car tyres, scrap metal etc. are still under several feet of floodwater.Interesting finds included an intact fishing rod and a broken kayak as well as the usual detritus of modern lives – bottles, plastic toys, clothing and hundreds of thousands of wet wipes.Organiser Tom Rawson said: “I was delighted by the number of enthusiastic volunteers willing to sacrifice their precious free time and to brave the awful weather to help tackle the massive problem of plastic pollution on our region’s rivers and burns.“In spite of the snow and storms, hundreds of people turned out in their towns and villages to clear rubbish and help highlight this insidious problem.”Tom aims to repeat the event in the late autumn and plans for the Great Borders River Clean to be a biannual event over the next few years.He added: “Events like the Great Borders River Clean are as much about spreading the message of reducing littering and single-use plastic consumption as they are about removing their effects from the natural environment. A number of towns are planning follow-up events to be held when the river levels drop down again.”z Pictured, Great Borders River Clean participants at Lauder.

Thursday, 5th March 2020, 11:50 am