River clean-up brings a ‘tidy’ end to ‘Splash Week’

More than 30 canoeists and kayakers from clubs in Glasbury, Pembroke, Brecon, Bargoed, and Aberfan, as well as staff from Gwent Outdoor Centres, joined forces on Sunday, November 4 to pick up rubbish dumped in the River Usk. 


The groups spent around seven hours paddling their way along the River Usk between Sennybridge and Brynich collecting 53 bags of refuse – which included road signs, traffic cones and car tyres – with bank support provided by representatives from Keep Wales Tidy and the Wye and Usk Foundation.


The clean-up success story was one of the highlights of the annual ‘Splash Week’ – a fun programme of guided water-based activities on rivers, canals and lakes in the National Park.


‘Splash Week’ gave budding paddlers the chance to try canoeing at Goytre Wharf with staff from Gwent Outdoor Centres, while intrepid adventurers enjoyed the thrills and spills of gorge walking at Sychyrd Gorge. Clydach Gorge played host to a well-attended spooky storytelling session on a cold, wet Halloween, and would-be pirates turned out in force for a Pirate and Lantern parade in Gilwern.


Gez Richards, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Splash Project Officer, said: “Once again ‘Splash Week’ has been a tremendous success – it was great to see so many people enjoying water activities led by experts here in the National Park.


“I’d like to thank everyone who helped make the event such a triumph, particularly the canoeists and kayakers who braved the weather to take part in the River Usk and Beacons Water Trail clean-up.”


Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Member Cllr Ann Webb, a Director of the Mid Wales Tourism Partnership, added: “I think it’s fantastic that so many canoeists and kayakers volunteered their time to help clean-up the waterways they enjoy. It not only makes the rivers and canals a more pleasant sight, but it’s also of huge benefit to the local wildlife that call the river home.”