A CHARITY that improves the River Aire and River Worth is asking local people to nominate a ‘grot spot’.

As its volunteers return to the riverbank, the Aire Rivers Trust (ART) is asking people to nominate stretches of river and its tributary becks that could do with a clean up.

The East Morton-based trust works with volunteers to make the rivers a better place for people and wildlife.

They began riverbank clean ups with small group of enthusiastic volunteers who litter-picked an area of riverbank beside Baildon Bridge and the weir. They removed more than 50 bags of bottles, rags and plastic in two days.

Over the past three years the trust has run clean ups throughout Bradford and towards the Aire’s source in Craven. Volunteers have removed tons of rubbish ranging from washing machines to wet wipes.

Simon Watts, DNAire Community Engagement Manager with the Aire Rivers Trust, said “We are only a small charity and it always helps to have more eyes along the river.

“We would like people to share their suggestions of stretches of the River Aire and River Worth that they think could benefit from a litter pick. They are a fantastic way to meet new people and enjoy being outdoors.”

For volunteer Maureen Pinder, helping with river clean-ups seemed the natural thing to do after spending many days enjoying walking by the river.

“I volunteer with ART on my Fridays off work. I'm a keen hiker and always come home with a rucksack full of other people's rubbish, so it's great to collect litter as part of a team. I always think of the wildlife that I'm saving from becoming trapped in bags or bottles.”

DNAire - Developing the Natural Aire - is a £2.35m joint project by The Aire Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency using funding from the Environment Agency, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Yorkshire Water and Craven Council.

Over the three years of the project it will see the construction of fish passes on weirs at Armley Mills, Kirkstall Abbey, Newlay Bridge (in Leeds) and Saltaire together with an extensive programme of community engagements including volunteers, young people, and the general public.

It includes more than 150 volunteer days cleaning and improving the river for people and wildlife, and will train volunteers from organisations along the river in wildlife identification and conservation skills.

Residents who are concerned about fly tipping should report it to their local council, urges Simon.

Litter found along streams and rivers has the potential to harm wildlife, create floods and make it an unsightly place to visit. You can suggest litter picks to the Aire Rivers Trust on its website at aireriverstrust.org.uk.

The Aire Rivers Trust’s volunteer days take place every Thursday and Friday, working along the River Aire from Baildon to its source near Airton, ten miles north-west of Skipton, and along the length of the River Worth. New volunteers are welcome.

The River Aire Trust’s work along the river is made possible thanks to funding from the Environment Agency, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Yorkshire Water and Craven Council.

To find out more or to sign up visit the website aireriverstrust.org.uk