Sunday, 21 April 2013

RDAA accuses Devizes to Westminster teams/crews of littering the Kennet

In its General Secretary's report for April, the Reading & District Angling Association (RDAA)has made the following statement: 

Following the latest race I will be contacting Canals & Rivers Trust with reference to the amount of litter discarded by the contestants and watchers on to our Froxfield venue. If this had been anglers leaving this amount of rubbish we would have been reprimanded.

The race referred to is the International Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race which took place over the Easter Holiday weekend.  The Froxfield section concerned is on the Kennet and Avon Canal from just above Lock 67 to just below Lock 71.  Froxfield Lock (#68) is at the DW Race 23 mile marker, some 2.7 miles before the Hungerford race checkpoint.

Given that no evidence or any actual information on the amount of the alleged litter was provided, I took a couple of bin bags down to the parking point at Froxfield Lock (#68) yesterday, which is at the DW Race 23 mile marker, some 2.7 miles before the Hungerford race checkpoint.

Free parking is available next to Lock 68 near Froxfield on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

I almost immediately found a canoeing-branded 500ml drink bottle and an isotonic gel sachet taped for attachment to a canoe race competitor, which were duly picked up, and have since been recycled/binned.

The better news is that in a 7km search upstream as far as Lock 67 and downstream to Lock 71 and back (including careful checks around all the lock portage points) no other canoeing related litter was found.  However, that's still two bits of litter too many, so, to borrow the words of an advertising campaign originally set up in Australia...

This message is less offensive than litter.  There is no excuse: take your litter home or bin it properly.

More positive environmental news comes in the shape of some other 'debris' discovered at the side of Lock 71:

The remains of an Otter's lunch by Lock 71, which means there are at least three less American Signal Crayfish (ASC) in the Canal.

Click on the highlighted text for more information on ASC biosecurity for paddlers and Otters in the River Kennet.