Play your part in cleaning Newham’s waterways

Newham needs thousands of volunteers to help clean its waterways ahead of the Olympic Games so visitors are welcomed to a grime and litter-free borough.

The campaign, spearheaded by Olympic gold-medallist Mark Hunter, joined the call for 4,000 people to roll up their sleeves and get involved in more than 80 events.

Eager local volunteers and pupils from Gainsborough Primary School in Stratford joined waterway minister Richard Benyon, the Mayor of London’s environment director Kulveer Ranger and a team of canoeists on Wednesday [Feb 8] to litter-pick along the banks of the River Lea Navigation.

Team GB rower Mark encouraged people of all ages to get involved, adding: “The rivers of London are what first inspired me to take up rowing and are now obviously a huge part of my life.

“I feel quite privileged to have such access to rivers, and I think we have a great responsibility to look after them.”

Helpers will play a part in transforming over 50 waterway locations along 30km of rivers and canals by walking litter-picks, planting wildflowers in meadows and participating in non-native invasive weed removal.

Richard Benyon, minister for environment and fisheries, said: “Rivers are a much loved part of where we live and the Big Waterways Clean Up is an excellent example of how communities can turn their local environment into an area they can be proud of.”

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To get stuck in, visit or contact Ben Fenton at or by calling 07920 230 970.