VOLUNTEERS were out in force for a major clean up along the River Dee.
Environmentalist Dr David Bellamy turned up in his T-shirt but suited civic dignitaries Chester Lord Mayor Jim Latham and County Council chairman Neville Price formed a mini-chain gang as they congratulated people for their work in clearing the river banks between Sandy Lane and Grosvenor Bridge.
Sacks of rubbish were collected along with drums and even a football.
Chester City Council’s countryside team and teams from the county council, cycle group Sustrans and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers on the two-day initiative to clear litter and debris from the banks.
The clean up also helped to promote the importance of Chester’s natural heritage and the new access to the riverside from the recently opened promenade and cycleway.
‘This was a great opportunity for local people to get together to make a difference,’ said City Cllr Neil Ritchie, (Con, Tilston), executive member for the environment at the Town Hall.
‘The river between Sandy Lane and the Grosvenor Bridge is one of our finest assets. We need to make sure that the biodiversity of the Dee is protected for the generations to come.’
‘It’s a fantastic project which shows how all communities can work together to tackle very real issues,’ commented Dr Bellamy.
County Hall’s executive member for the environment, County Cllr Andrew Needham (Con, Eddisbury) said: ‘The River Dee clean- up aims to make a difference. Our rivers and estuaries are very important and need to be protected.’
The Big Dee Day saw a major 48-hour litter clearance from Prestatyn to Chester along the Dee Estuary. Over 60 private companies, councils and conservation groups and an estimated 600 people were expected to take part.
The event, initiated by Flintshire County Council, was also picked up by Wirral and Ellesmere Port and Neston borough councils which meant events were taking place over the whole of the Dee Estuary.
The estuary is a specially protected site of international importance for its birdlife and habitat and enjoys national and European Union designation.