‘We’ve become guardians of the river’
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Coronavirus: Kayaker finds increase in litter after lockdown

A kayaker who collects litter has seen a rise in the amount of rubbish dumped in a beauty spot river since lockdown measures were relaxed.

Pete Astles, 50, found chip trays, beer bottles and even road barriers discarded in the River Derwent, Derbyshire.

The river flows through the town of Matlock Bath, in a World Heritage Site, where visitors have continued to flock during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Mr Astles launched Paddle Peak, a group of paddlesport businesses, clubs and professionals, who have helped to clear about three tonnes of rubbish from the river in the past year.

“We’ve become a bit of a guardian of the river to be honest,” he said.

“[It’s] astonishing really that people would come to a beautiful place and then drop litter.”

  • 20 Jun 2020