TEN tonnes of rubbish is to be dredged from the bed of Windermere in the UK’s biggest ever ‘debris dive’.

As many as 400 divers and lakeshore volunteers are expected to turn up for a day of action at Bowness, organised by eco-activist and TV presenter Paul Rose.

Announced this week, the 11-hour event will be the biggest ever organised in the UK, pulling up thousands of items that have blown, fallen or been discarded in the lake.

Paul, who presents Scrapheap Challenge on television, is urging locals to turn out on the day to find out more or to volunteer some time.

“Anyone is welcome for a few minutes or a few hours, to find out more, help and have a cup of tea,” he said. “I’d particularly urge families to come.

“From the youngsters’ point of views, they will be seeing interesting things coming out of the lake and it will also engage them in a worthwhile activity.”

Paul, who carried out a small-scale dive from Waterhead, near Ambleside, last year which produced around a tonne of litter, said he was expecting to find at least another ten tonnes when divers take to the lake on March 2.

“Twelve divers went out in November and we got one van-load of rubbish, probably about a tonnne or so,” he said. “Now I’m expecting that we’ll get at least between five and 10 tonnes, although it may well be even more.

“I don’t think a lot of people realise how much is down there!

“If all that was piled up on the fells people would be outraged and they’d want someone arrested for it. But because it’s in the lake people don’t realise how bad it is.”

Paul, who lives in Windermere, said volunteers wouldtake to the lake between 10am and 9pm, so they could continue dredging after ferries had stopped running.

The rubbish that is retrieved will be stored by Impact International before being recycled or used by local schools to create sculptures with local artists Kate Wright and Joy Grindrod.

The artwork will be sold to raise funds for local charities.

The work carried out will also form the basis of an exhibition about ocean debris, following Paul’s success with a project in Geneva.

To sign up as a diver contact michelle.parker@impactinternational.com.