Trip reports

RSPB Medway Local Group's Third Thames Side Plastic Clean-up

RSPB Medway Local Group's Third Thames Side Plastic Clean-up
The plastic was spread over a large area

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Taken from Dr Hoo's Northward Hill Blog

This was a bit of a mini clean-up in the Cliffe Creek area at the top end over the seawall looking across to Tilbury.

I enlisted the 1st New Barn Scout Group. This was not going to be easy as we were focusing on the old landing stage where a large number of small items had accumulated on the tide line.

I gave a mini-briefing regarding safety and hygiene, emphasizing, of course, the danger of Weils Disease, interesting to note that one of the group's sons had actually contracted it whilst white- water rafting, so it is not as uncommon as we imagine!

The plastic was spread over a large area. Collecting it is quite labour intensive and can be difficult to keep going as it takes such a long time to make a noticeable difference. It's was all the usual suspects, bottle tops, straws and cotton bud stems. Amongst these were lighters, decaying plastic shopping bags and bizarrely a plastic urine drainage bag which understandably younger members described as 'Gross'!

All these things should never have made their way into the water, many of the smaller items must have been flushed down the toilet and not filtered out at the sewerage works. After all this hard work there is a small cleansed sample patch, however, dig a little below the surface and small plastic rubbish is still there buried.

My next clean-up will be in a month or two, so keep an eye out for details of where and when.

My thanks also to Ruth and Lucy of RSPB Northward Hill Reserve for help on the day and Julian Nash and Will Tofts of RSPB Northward Hill for permission to do this, again thanks to 1st New Barn Scout Group for their participation.

My thanks as usual to Medway Norse and Pindens for supplying the equipment and skip.

The link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azrihBpBC0s will take you to a YouTube video, the opening part of which was taken on one of RSPB Medway Local Group's Thames Side Plastic Clean-ups. If you decide to watch the video to its end, about 3.25 minutes, we suggest that you take the opportunity to "Cancel" before other videos appear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azrihBpBC0s