Sustainability plays a prominent role in our overall company values. We have recently committed to halving our greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 and achieving net zero emissions before 2050, whilst promising to disclose our progress on an annual basis.

As part of this, we have identified how we can improve our green credentials across four principles– prevent negative impact to our environment; remove pollutants from the surrounding area; recycle waste created on-site; caretake to enhance biodiversity at Willow Marina. Over the next few weeks and months, we will be talking more about our commitment to sustainability and the targets we have set, so please keep a close eye on our blog. 

Our mission to remove pollutants was a key reason behind our decision to team-up with the guys at Warriors on Waste and Go With The Flo to host a river clean-up last Sunday (26th September).

It was encouraging to see more than 25 volunteers give up their time to clean the banks and waterways. As well as litter picking along the towpaths, 12 of the braver volunteers also jumped onto paddleboards to collect litter congregating on the water’s surface. 

The event was organised as part of The Great Big Green Week, a nationwide celebration of action on climate change and sustainability, plus World Rivers Day.

In total, enough litter was collected to fill 10 big tubs, kindly provided by Planet Patrol. The efforts of the volunteers will have an immediate impact upon local wildlife and prevent longer-term problems downstream. 

Following an afternoon of hard work, we enjoyed welcoming all volunteers back to The Cwtch for complimentary coffee and cake to thank them for their efforts.

We understand the river is an extension of our workplace and a part of our lives. We’re absolutely committed to keeping it, the seas, and our surrounding area clean and litter-free. We are all fortunate to enjoy our environment and it is our responsibility – both as a business and as a community of individuals – to do what we can to look after it. I’m very grateful to all those who helped to make this event happen, and especially to those who volunteered to make a positive difference.

A huge thanks to Lynne Lambourne, Founder of Warriors on Waste, an organisation that does so much positive work across the community. We asked her for her thoughts on Sunday’s event: “At first glance, you wouldn’t think there was too much litter in and around this stretch of river – however, we collected 10 big tubs and black sacks of abandoned rubbish in just a few hours. We found everything from flip-flops to Styrofoam to a pallet, but bottles are always the biggest problem. We must have collected more than 100 bottles and cans. Events like this help to create a vision in the community and get people thinking about what can end up in the river.”

Nick Judd, Founder of Go With The Flo, kindly provided the paddleboards for the event. He said: “Litter picking by paddleboard allows you to access the little nooks and crannies along the water, as well as searching in the reeds and bullrushes. We provide lessons along this stretch of river, so we were more than happy to team up with Val Wyatt Marine and Warriors on Waste for this event. There were lots of new faces and it was fantastic to see people of all ages coming together to benefit the community.”

If you’d like to take part in one of our future river clean-up events, make sure you follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates.