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2 men and a dog standing by the Brent River in Hanwell

Start a river-lution

Car tyres, clothes and wet wipes are just some of the items that frequently get discarded into the River Brent, polluting the water and harming the environment.

Almost 100 tonnes of rubbish have been hauled out of the river since a community taskforce group came together to tackle litter and improve the river’s habitat.

Clean Up the River Brent (CURB) was founded by local resident Ben Morris in 2021 and Ben and his army of volunteers, including groups such as LAGER Can, have been putting in an endless amount of effort to enhance the river, which is about 18 miles long.

‘Making the world better’

Ben said: “We’re always looking for more volunteers to join us. It’s great to be with a group of people in the outdoors – doing something good, making the world a bit better and making something cleaner. It’s very morale building. People really enjoy getting outdoors and stuck in.”

The group, supported by Ealing Council’s park rangers, hold various community events such as clean-ups, planting and more. Although the council is not responsible for keeping rivers clean of rubbish, they supply sacks and litter pickers and pick up and dispose of any rubbish collected.

The river is home to a lot of wildlife, including kingfishers, herons, ducks and invertebrates (including insect species).

‘Corridors for wildlife’

Ben added: “Our rivers are so important in our landscape; they are corridors for wildlife. The way we all choose to live our lives has an impact on rivers and there are things we can all do to help look after them, such as not flushing wet wipes because they block up sewers.

“Understanding your drainage system at home is useful too and think about your water use. Also, anything you might put down a street drain can go straight into rivers. We all have to think a little bit more carefully about how we look after these valuable parts of our environment.”

Find out more

If you’d like to get involved, you can find CURB on Facebook (CURB – Clean Up the River Brent) or go to the Brent River Park website. You can also follow CURB on X @brentpollution

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