Friday 24 February 2012

River of Shame

I managed to find space in my busy life to get out on the river for a row. This was my first outing of the year but it has been very cold recently.
On this day however, it was beautiful warmweather, the tide was full and the river was calling me. It was an impulse decision; so I left my grocery shopping in the boat house and hastily launched the good ship Magpie.
I love rowing, it’s very good exercise but mainly I love it because you get a very different perspective of the city from on the water. Sometimes, apart when you hear a siren or a train rattles past, you would not know that you were in the middle of a large metropolis.
As I got up river toward Woodmill and the reed beds, I began to feel all “Wind in the Willows” and started looking out for birds and wildlife. There are many quite rare birds on the river, I have seen the turquoise flash of iridescent kingfishers, majestic Great Crested Grebes, Black throated divers, among others and on special days - a very playful seal.
What does depress me though is the amount of needless rubbish that thoughtless idiots throw into the river. These precious reed beds will soon be the nesting place for swans, ducks and other wild creatures and yet they are choked with discarded plastic drink bottles and other detritus.
I once provoked a storm in the Echo newspaper, regarding fly-tipping in the river by the Saltmead estate and as a result of that, this criminal activity virtually stopped - perhaps something similar could be prompted here.
We should be proud of our beautiful parks and riverside walks. The people who left this litter were presumably enjoying the park like everyone else, so what is it that makes them spoil this special environment for themselves and everyone else? It must be selfishness, stupidity or lack of education.

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