Tidy Up the Thames

The Thames is a beautiful river, a great asset for recreation and a vital source of drinking water.  It is important to keep the Thames as clean as possible. Unfortunately, litter gets into the river, often by carelessness and sometimes by fly-tipping. Many parts of the Thames have very little litter, but in summer, large public events are often followed by litter.  In winter, floods wash debris out of streams and backwaters, into the main river and from there to the sea, to cause marine pollution. 

The River Thames Society (RTS) is keen to reduce the amount of litter in the river. The RTS wardens regularly patrol the Thames Path and pick up litter when they find it on the river banks. Members of the Society take part in local litter picking events, which are sponsored by local councils or part of the Big Tidy Up campaign. Some of these events are run by rowing and canoe clubs to clear the litter that can only be reached from the water. We would like to encourage more of these events. Our main target is to clear the plastic bags, bottles, cans and other containers which are unsightly, but are easy to collect. The heavy rubbish, including broken boats and large timber, needs trained workers with special equipment.

The RTS is working with Thames 21, the charity that has pioneered cleaning the tidal Thames and its tributaries in London.  We would like to work with other organisations along the non-tidal Thames up from Teddington to the source in Gloucestershire. We applaud the work of the Wokingham Canoe Club and the Reading Rowing Club for their Spring Clean events, in which RTS members participated.  Please let us know of similar events which we can support.

RTS at OxClean


Retrieving Trolley from Thames