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WatersideCare’s year in numbers

#LitterHeroes in action and so much more


Our WatersideCare volunteers care passionately about the watery places around them, and are determined to do their bit to protect them.

Together, they had a very busy 2017 and made a massive impact across the Midlands, which protects both their local patch and our seas from the harmful effects of litter and pollution.

When their impacts are measured in the thousands, you know they are doing amazing things together…

  • 5,096 volunteers, donating 15,288 hours of their time (that’s equivalent to over £133,000), spread across 59 groups.
  • 955 events planned, promoted and delivered (that’s over 18 each week, in all weathers), including 598 litter-picking events.
  • 2,781 bags of litter collected (or equivalent to over 380 wheelie bins full) plus 316 bulky items from bikes and beds to trolleys and tyres.
  • 270 events specifically to protect and improve habitats, including balsam bashing and tree planting. Plus 108 water quality tests carried out, to monitor pollution, aquatic wildlife and more.

And the groups’ plans for 2018? Even more and even bigger! Helping more volunteers collect more litter, improve their local habitats even more, spread their messages further and encourage many others to get involved too.

And because each of our projects and achievements is all about people and their stories, we'll finish with just one of our 59 WaterSideCare groups - Friends of Bilbrook - and their amazing inspirational messages.  

When we asked them what they were most proud of achieving in 2017, it was their work motivating young people to take care of their environment – including securing funding from Tesco Carriers for Causes to build an outdoor classroom in the woods.

And not content to simply get involved in our Great British Spring Clean this March, this group are organising three events over the weekend – one with pupils from a local first school, another with the local middle school and one with their local community.

They’ve got other fantastic ambitions for 2018 too, including a campaign to get everyone in the area to pick up five pieces of rubbish each day and a partnership to get local businesses to go plastic-free; banning straws and polystyrene takeaway containers and reducing other single-use plastics.

The group have a message for anyone considering volunteering to help their local environment,

“Helping the local environment is very rewarding.  It is good physical exercise, good for mental health, satisfying to motivate young people and seeing that you can make a difference.  You also get to meet other like-minded people and make new friends, from all walks of life.”


Like all of our 59 WaterSideCare groups, they are true #LitterHeroes - thank you.

If you are inspired by their story, you can help your local area too – start by getting involved in our Great British Spring Clean and who knows where it will lead…

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