Shoes, bottles and takeaway trays collected from river at Richmond

A pair of shoes, glass bottles, crisp packets and takeaway trays – these were just some of the items found in and around the river at the falls in Richmond today.

A visitor to the river decided to do a litter pick and says the amount he found highlights the need for people to take responsibility for their waste.

Sam Johnson, who runs outdoor experience company Alfresco Adventures, collected the rubbish this morning in just 40 minutes while his car was at the garage.

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He said: “I was just relaxing by the river while my car was having some work done on it and a plastic bottle in the water caught my eye.

“As I intended to do some shopping I thought I will take the time and use my bag to see how much I collect in an hour from the waterfall to the fallen tree, which is about 100 metres.

“I picked up  a pair of shoes, cans, plastic bottles, a wire brush, glass bottles, crisp packets, plastic bags, take away trays and the list goes on.

“It wasn’t just from this weekend some stuff had been there some time.”

Sam, from Reeth, said the only item he didn’t collect was a used nappy which had been left less than 20m from a bin.

Sam, whose company offers people outdoor adventure experiences across North Yorkshire and Cumbria, took the litter home to be sorted and recycled where possible what could be recycled.

He added: “Me and my staff team are very keen to promote and make people aware that dropping litter anywhere, be it a city or our beautiful playgrounds the countryside is not right – it’s pure laziness.

“This is our area and we should take pride in how it looks. The council were out emptying the bins, but it isn’t their job to be cleaning river banks.

“With the warm weather due to continue we should try to make an effort to keep it clean, safe and fun place for families, young people, adults etc to play.”

Sam said the amount of plastic in the river only served to exacerbate the problem of plastic in our seas, which had been highlighted recently by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet programme.


  1. Good on ya Sam! I live in the avenue 2 drinks cans have been on the verge for 7 days I picked them up yesterday afternoon (Sunday) can’t believe how lazy or thoughtless people are.

  2. Totally agree people have no thought of dropping litter, I live on maison dieu and regularly get glass bottles, take away trays, litter left outside my house or in my drive, no one seems to care and worst culprits are children on way to school who drop litter every day, we have no chance of winning Britain in bloom unless people stop littering the streets.

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