IT SHOULD be plain sailing on the River Leam from now on.
And it is thanks to Matt Bishop, who has spent over a decade fishing litter out of the river and campaigning for the Canal and River Trust to replace litter traps.
The ‘Leamington Pound’ – between the Hatton and Radford canal locks – is the lowest section of canal for some 30 miles in each direction which means it is where all the canal litter flows downstream into.
If canal levels rise, they overflow into nearby rivers to stop them flooding, but pour litter into the rivers which is a problem Matt noticed during his ongoing work to keep the River Leam litter free.
Now the traps have been replaced, he is hoping this will be the start of a cleaner future for the River Leam.
He told The Observer: “When I first did a big clean on the river in 2001, the whole river was covered in litter anyway and then we also fished out between 15 and 20 trolleys which had obviously been there for years.
“Litter floating around in the river and on the banks is an eyesore and if people see something is not well kept, they’re not going to care about looking after it.
“We are lucky to live in a nice town and we should look after it.”
Matt, who runs Leam Boat Centre, is appealing to people to help keep the new traps clear. The boat house has bags and litter pickers which staff can lend to people for clearing the traps.
He is also encouraging youngsters who go out on the river with him to help clear up at the end of their sessions.
Anyone who wants to help keep the river clean should call 01926 889928 or visit the boat centre off Mill Road.