Many of our most beautiful parks have rivers or streams running though them, and some (Cosmeston Country Park for example) are based around lakes. The simple fact is that we all love to wander by the water. Today’s blog post comes to us from Ceri at Cardiff Rivers Group. We asked Ceri to tell us about the role of CRG in keeping the waterways of South Wales clear and clean, and how readers could get involved.
Cardiff Rivers Group was formed a few years ago with the aim of helping to clean up the banks and beds of the rivers in Cardiff. The group meets every couple of weeks to help remove the unsightly rubbish which unfortunately accumulates in our rivers. However, equally as important is the fact that each volunteer takes out more than just rubbish from the river – they take with them friendship, a sense of community and a much better workout than you would ever get in the gym. The group has evolved from a bunch of strangers of various ages, occupations and interests into a cohesive group who are prepared turn up on a cold January morning for two simple reasons – they want to do some good and they know it does them good.
The work undertaken by the group is suitable for people of all ages, abilities, physical strengths – it is up to each individual to decide what work they want to do. Some will walk the banks armed with a rubbish bag and litter picker, others will don the waders and be wrestling in waist deep water with a buried trolley. The group needs people doing these jobs and all the jobs in between. We also appreciate anyone who comes along armed with a thermos of coffee and some home-made cakes, but neither of these is obligatory.
It may seem strange, but it is honestly true to say that spending two hours on a weekend getting sweaty, muddy and wet can really be the most enjoyable two hours of the week. It is also true that spending two hours using a litter picker, chatting to some interesting people can also be the most enjoyable two hours of the week.
The group meets roughly every two weeks and has tackled the lots of the Taff, Ely and Rumney Rivers within Cardiff. All equipment is supplied and before every clean-up a briefing including health & safety issues is given to the group. All volunteers need to bring are some clothes they don’t mind getting dirty, sturdy shoes or wellies and an openness to do good and feel good.