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News article created on 2 June 2016

Leeds comes together in great flood clean up

Organisations of all sizes are pulling together to help Leeds’ flood-hit waterways get back to looking their best - and local people are being encouraged to lend a hand.

Flood volunteers Flood volunteers

A partnership of local organisations is working together to remove the rubbish and other debris left over from the Boxing Day floods.

In order to coordinate the clean-up efforts, the River Aire has nominally been divided into three zones through the city. The first event of the partnership took place last Saturday in Kirkstall, with the second event set to take place on this Saturday 4 of June. The section next to be cleared is from Royal Armouries to Knostrop Quay, meeting at the Armouries Tilt Yard at 10.00am.

Volunteers are needed to help clear litter from the trees, fencing and along the towpath. They will be joined by members of Leeds Canoe Club and White Rose Canoe Club who will be helping to get into all the hard-to-reach places from the water. There will also be a boat from Canal Connections, a local social enterprise, enabling people to clear rubbish that couldn’t be cleared from dry land.

A sense of pride

Becca Dent at the Canal & River Trust, said; “Everyone’s heard about the big engineering jobs taking place across Yorkshire to help the county recover from the impact of the floods but there’s also a big operation needed to clear all the rubbish dumped in hard to reach places – which gives a really poor impression of the city       

“The scale of the problem is massive and what’s great about this project is that local organisations, big and small, are pulling together to get things sorted. It shows great determination and a real sense of pride in our city.

“We do, however, need some support from local people and I’d encourage anyone interested in helping out to come down on Saturday and get stuck in.”

This event forms part of the river stewardship partnership for Leeds initially looking to improve the river following the Boxing Day flooding that left large amounts of litter and debris. Further events will take place in the coming months and we are encouraging businesses, residents and groups to register their interest in participating so that activities can be planned with specific groups and sites in mind.

The clean-up will take place between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 4th June. Equipment is provided and anyone wanting to lend a hand should wear sensible clothes and sturdy shoes. If you're interested in getting involved please contact John Cummins on 0113 238 0601 or at JCummins@groundwork.org.uk.