A CAN-DO attitude and some elbow grease brightened up the banks of the River Biss as helpers filled more than 20 bags of rubbish from there on Sunday.

After an increasing amount of locals commented on how neglected the river was looking, with overgrown trees, vegetation and litter lining its banks, Councillor Geoff Whiffen began looking for people to take part in a clear-up effort.

So on Sunday morning, town councillors, members of the Friends of Biss Meadows Country Park and Police Inspector Andy Ford and his wife spent several hard hours of work picking up litter from Cradle Bridge, all the way up to Handle House by Stallard Street.

“It just looks so much better. The amount of junk and rubbish down there was disgusting.

“It really is sad to see this beautiful river targeted by so much litter,” he said.

“For me and many others it is a sad sight to see the river look like that. We think people should take pride in their town, not make it look a less inviting and attractive place.

“This issue had been mentioned at a town and development committee meeting, so I thought it was about time that we tidied up the place. When we were down there we came across all sorts of waste such as guttering, pipe insulation, bottles, cans, pizza boxes, you name it.

“It is quite dangerous to have this stuff lying around, not only for people but for wildlife too. So after a few hours of work and covering a good stretch of a few hundred metres, it is far better than before.

“Luckily it stayed dry for us which made it more enjoyable, as did Tesco who provided us with food and drink that went down really well. There was a good atmosphere and it was great to have Andy from the police come down as well, he put in a great shift with his wife.

“We received a lot of complimentary comments from members of the public too, which was nice. We did not go into the river this time with our bags and litter pickers but next time I think we will get the waders out.”

Cllr Whiffen was so pleased with their efforts, he said he is hoping to organise another one sometime in January.

“Hopefully we can get a really good turnout for the next one which I think will be done in January. To have a group of 10 do as much as we did makes me feel encouraged for next time,” he said.

“It is a shame that we have to do this because this really should not be happening to this extent but I and many others care about this town and want to see it looking spick and span.

“If people want to get involved with the next one, please feel free to get in touch because this is an important issue.”