A ‘scandalous’ amount of rubbish including tyres, scrap metal and even pheasant carcasses were all found along the River Torridge during a river clean.
A group of 10 canoeists from Bideford Canoe Club collected rubbish from a seven kilometre stretch of the river between Blinsham Woods and Torrington.
Using their kayaks to collect debris and with two open boats acting as skips, the team got to work and were left shocked at what they found.
“The bulk of the rubbish collected was agricultural black plastic, but also dumpy bags, tyres and scrap metal,” said Bideford Canoe Club chairman Peter Thorn.
“At the bridge was a scandalous amount of rubbish thrown over the wall from the layby. This included at least 50 pheasant carcasses, presumably from a local shoot. We did our best to clear the plastic and cans.
“We only did seven kilometres of river so there is a huge task in the rest of the river.”
The team was unable to clear the pheasant carcasses, but everything else was brought back to the Puffing Billy and arranged for collection.
The clean was part of the national campaign Big Spring Beach Clean, Summit to Sea, headed up by Surfers Against Sewage and British Canoeing.
The Torridge litter pick was organised in liaison with the River Torridge Fishery Association, and Bideford Canoe Club now intend to clean a section at least once a year.
To find out more about Bideford Canoe Club, visit their website: www.bidefordcanoeclub.co.uk.