Myriad of litter collected from fish pass

Rubber duck and plastic containers

Some of the rubbish found in the River Skerne, including a rubber duck and plastic containers

Our officer found a diverse selection of litter and debris at at South Park on the River Skerne, south of Darlington.

Not only is litter damaging to the river but also to the fish that live and pass through the waters.

The items retrieved during the hour-long clear up included:

  • 67 single use plastic bottles
  • two oven trays
  • a flip-flop
  • a fridge door, and
  • a rubber duck

Here in the North East, the Environment Agency is responsible for nine fish passes located from the River Wansbeck to the River Skerne.

A fish pass is designed to facilitate the upstream and downstream movement of fish and other aquatic fauna. Fish passes can be applied to watercourses, where natural or human placed obstructions such as dams, weirs, or culverts prevent or interfere with fish migration.

Paul Frear, Fisheries Technical Officer for the Environment Agency, said:

The North East is proud to have a number of beautiful rivers that provide a great natural resource for people, groups and wildlife.

It was disappointing to find the pieces of debris and litter as each piece is a potential obstruction for the fish that live in our rivers. We would urge people to use public litter bins provided or to take their rubbish away with them and dispatch the content at home.

Over the past two years other unusual items that have been found in rivers across the region include traffic cones, a deflated space hopper and a deck chair.

If you have any environmental issues to report please contact the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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