SHOPPING trolleys, a car bonnet and other assorted rubbish were removed from the River Wharfe during a clean up of Garnett's Weir on Tuesday.

Organised by Otley in Bloom, the clean up of the river immediately after the weir was made following the approval of the Environment Agency and Garnett's who agreed to divert the water away from the weir.

Sylvia Reid, secretary of Otley in Bloom, said more than 15 people helped clear the weir of rubbish accumulated over many years.

"It was a great success. They collected a car bonnet, shopping trolleys and all sorts of bits and pieces that had washed down the river and had collected there."

The operation had to be timed to avoid bird nesting times and while the paper mill was working.

"It was a very successful day and it has been suggested we make it an annual event," added Mrs Reid.

The clean up was part of the group's preparations for this year's Spring judging for the Yorkshire in Bloom contest, due to take place on Monday, August 18.

The group is urging everybody to do their bit by making sure the outside of their homes are tidy on the day. Mrs Reid is also hoping OIB's displays come through the first bank holiday weekend of the year unscathed.

She said: "We wish everyone a great holiday weekend and urge everyone not to play with the plants or containers throughout the town centre.

"They have costs the group a lot of time and effort to organise funds for. They were bought to brighten up public spaces in the town centre - essentially, they are there to be looked at and enjoyed, not played with."

Volunteer helpers will be welcomed at the group's annual Spring Clean of the judges' route on Sunday, April 17. Anyone interested should bring gloves and a trowel to The Buttercross for 9.30am.