The annual Big Dee Day event to help clean up the River Dee, surrounding areas and waterways has been a big success, with hundreds of volunteers coming along to help.
The annual clean-up is co-ordinated by Cheshire West and Chester Council, Flintshire County Council and Natural Resources Wales.
In the Cheshire West area events kicked off a day early on Thursday as Conservation Trust volunteers collected 35 bags of litter and various larger items from the mud flats in front of the University of Chester’s Riverside campus and path around the Roodee. This work was able to take place thanks to the sponsorship of Hickory’s Smokehouse.
On Friday Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Jill Houlbrook, as Admiral of the Dee, showed her support and came down to the Groves where Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH) and graduates from Cheshire West and Chester Council painted 50 benches along The Groves.
Staff from Hickory’s Smokehouse collected 30 bags of litter plus tyres, wheels and other large objects from the edge of the Dee, including the Meadows and Edgar’s Field.
Tom McGovern, who runs the Wild Area Community Conservation Company in Saltney, worked with Foundation Enterprise Northwest to clear litter from the River Lane area of the Dee. And volunteers from McDonald’s headed to Farndon to help rangers paint benches, repair the boardwalk, clear vegetation and collect litter.
Cheshire West and Chester Council rangers also spent the day with volunteers cutting back overgrown vegetation and pathways on the Meadows as well as collecting litter.
On both Friday and Saturday McDonald’s staff, and residents worked hard to clear litter from The Cop area off Sealand Road and along the cycle path leading to Flintshire. Hand rails and benches were also painted. Stephen Mosley MP came along on Saturday to show his support.
In total over 120 bags of litter were collected in the Cheshire West area over the three days.
At the breakfast launch of the event in Connah's Quay, the Big Dee Day Awards were presented for the first time to community groups, individuals, businesses and conservation groups who have been involved in the event in previous years.
The unique awards, which were made out of salvaged welsh oak, were presented in partnership between Cheshire West and Chester Council, Flintshire Council and Natural Resources Wales to groups and individuals who are passionate about our local waterways and who have shown their outstanding support for the event.
Councillor Lynn Riley, Executive Member for Localities, attended the launch event and said: “A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers and organisations involved in yet another successful Big Dee Day weekend.
“It was wonderful to be able to recognise the unique contribution made by certain individuals, businesses and community groups with awards being made for the first time.
“Whilst it is always so difficult to decide who gets a special mention when so many put in so much effort throughout the year, we did want to thank the RNLI for the great job they did in helping the dolphin return to the sea.”
The winners of the awards were:
Business Awards: Hickory’s Smokehouse and Kingspan
Community Group Awards: Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH) and Holywell Scout Group
Individual Awards: Tom McGovern and Judith Wright
Conservation Groups: RNLI and Dee Wildfowlers Club