United Utilities joins forces with Roch Valley litter pickers and Rochdale Borough Council for World Rivers Day

United Utilities joined forces with volunteers from the Roch Valley litter pickers and Rochdale Borough Council to hold a clean-up event this weekend to celebrate World Rivers Day. 

20 people took part in the clean-up along the banks of the River Roch at Queen’s Park in Heywood yesterday.  World Rivers Day is all about celebrating the importance of waterways across the world.

The volunteers managed to clean up 15 bags of litter and sewer debris from the banks of the Roch to help improve the appearance of the area. 

Councillor Angela Brown, Chair of Heywood Township Committee at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Queen's Park and Roch Valley have held a special place in my heart since childhood. But as an adult, I have been saddened to see these areas subjected to littering and damage to trees.

“Working with the Roch Valley litter pickers, a group started through the passion and energy of Heywood resident Deborah Hutch, and this long-term partnership with United Utilities, we have begun making headway in clearing litter to clean up our local environment and protect our wildlife.”

Deborah Hutch, added: "With help from local ward councillors, Angela Brown and Peter Malcolm we approached United Utilities as our group could not clear the river banks alone. It was wonderful to hear that the United Utilities River Rangers can help our cause, but we're always seeking more volunteers to maintain the beauty of Roch Valley to protect the diverse species that reside in this much-loved habitat."

Joshua Fry, from United Utilities, said: “We were delighted to support this activity.  It was a great opportunity to work in partnership with local community volunteers and the council to deliver real tangible improvements to the environment around the River Roch in Heywood.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to strengthen the relationships we have built with Roch Valley litter pickers and the council over the years to come and hope this is the first event of many.” 

The United Utilities’ River Rangers started operating in April with an aim to forge closer links with community groups and organisations to work together to improve the environment around rivers in Greater Manchester.

As well as engaging with local communities, the rangers have been proactively patrolling the banks of rivers to check the company’s assets, organise maintenance and clean litter and debris.  They have also be carrying out sampling to allow the company to better understand river water quality across the region.