5 Volunteers, 2km of river, 6kg of rubbish and a steaming bowl of soup! – A perfect day on the river.

I have 2 children, but I rarely have time to spend quality time with any of them separately. I love nature, and Kayaking is certainly an interest I share with my older boy, Ty. By joining the river clean-up, it was the perfect occasion to link our passion with helping the environment. I always try to educate my kids about the current situation of the world and the risks we face if we don’t look after our planet, and what better way to do so than getting out there in kayaks and getting our hands dirty!

The river-clean up really felt like going on an adventure, as we had to go deep into high reeds and tree branches to find and collect what people had left behind. We were pleasantly surprised to find less rubbish than expected, but this only made us work harder and go deeper into the side of the river. We were on a mission!

We also had the chance to be greeted by a beautiful sunshine when we arrived in Pullborough in the morning. After one month of torrential rain it felt like a blessing, and the sun stayed with us all day, which made the whole experience even more enjoyable and I couldn’t believe the beauty of nature finally revealing itself.

It was also great to spend some time with my boss, Tom, outside the office and meeting his friend Rich who also works as an instructor for us when he’s not making beautiful artwork out of metal. Jeanette, who works for Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, also joined us on the trip and it was nice to finally have the chance to meet her in person, after spending months emailing each other organising fundraising events for Raystede. It was again, a perfect way to socialise while doing something amazing.

Without realising it, doing the river clean up also made me more aware of the rubbish that accumulates by the side of country roads and in town. I could only recommend joining the next river’ clean up (or any clean ups really). It’s an amazing way to spend a great time with family and friends, while giving something back to nature.

This is what Ty, my 9 years old son had to say about that special day:

“I liked this trip because it was fun kayaking and I learnt lots of new stuff like how to go into the bushes to get the rubbish. We also got to find lots of things such as coke cans, glass bottles, plastic wrappers and much more. I also felt proud after helping the environment!!!” – Ty Jenkins.

By Cathy Jenkins