Underwater litter pick expected to clear tons of rubbish from Windermere (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Underwater litter pick expected to clear tons of rubbish from Windermere
3:53pm Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
TONS of rubbish is expected to be plucked from the depths of Lake Windermere in a major clean-up exercise planned for Thursday morning.
As part of the British Sub-Aqua Club’s (BSAC) Underwater Litterpick 2012 campaign, up to 20 divers will take to the waters of the lake at Waterhead, near Ambleside.
They will be retrieving submerged debris which presents a hazard to anyone diving or swimming and threatens the ecology of the popular beauty spot. And in a novel “green” twist to the initiative, a group of local schoolchildren are planning to fashion some of the collected items into figures that should really be in the lake, such as fish and swans, and sell them off for charity.
BSAC’s underwater litterpicks are taking place nationwide until the end of October and for each one divers are completing a data form to help record the volume and type of litter they have found plaguing the area where they regularly dive or snorkel.
These forms are then submitted to BSAC headquarters in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, where the information will be collated.
The research will be shared with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) which is staging its own Beachwatch campaign where volunteers come together to clean up Britain’s beaches.
The Windermere litterpick, which begins at 9.30am from the public jetty at Waterhead, is a joint effort between Kendal & Lakes Sub-Aqua Club (SAC) and explorer and broadcaster Paul Rose who lives overlooking the lake.
He explained it was decided to hold the event that day to coincide with a Fell Care Day being run by the Friends of the Lake District, which will see a small army of volunteers doing footpath repairs, drain clearance, coppicing and woodland work on the hills surrounding the lake.
Mr Rose, who is also vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society, said: “As a keen conservationist I think BSAC’s Underwater Litterpicks are a great idea.
“There’s a big, active diving scene up here in the Lakes, which I am part of myself, and we know from regularly diving in our local lakes and quarries how cluttered with rubbish and debris they can be.
“We’ll bring up anything we find down in the lake and hand it either to volunteers from the Friends of the Lake District who will be waiting on shore, or to other volunteers who will be manning a number of canoes patrolling the water above us.”
Highlighting some of the more outrageous items found in Windermere over the years, Mr Rose added: “Two years ago, a Second World War mortar bomb was found about 30 metres off the end of the jetty in Bowness Bay and was removed by the army.
“I personally found some live .303 rifle rounds at Waterhead where we will be diving on this litterpick.”