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Six Shopping Trolleys, Four Car Tyres and a Thousand Wet Wipes!!

The Paddle Peak team were out in force again cleaning the River Derwent between Matlock Bath and Cromford this week and they were joined by Severn Trent’s newly created River Ranger team.

The group started the huge task of tidying the River Derwent’s banks of massive quantities of waste that had been deposited in the February winter floods. The incredible load that was collected in canoes and kayaks included six shopping trolleys from Sainsburys and M&S, several car tyres, the usual fast food based litter from Matlock Bath, black plastic hay bale wrap and literally thousands of wet wipes and sanitary products that have been flushed into the sewage system that during heavy rain and flooding over flows into the river.

Paddle Peak’s founder Pete Astles commented: “ We had great team out today in wonderful weather, tackling the waste left by the recent floods. So many shopping trolleys this time! What’s going on? There was also a terrible amount of sanitary waste from the flooded sewer system. It was great to be joined by the Severn Trent River Ranger team. It was the perfect opportunity for us to highlight this problem to them. Our message to any one reading this is: Please please please only flush the PaddlePeak three P’s down the loo…. Poo, paper and pee… Please don’t flush wet wipes and other sanitary items down there!. When they are mixed with kitchen fat they block the system and end up in the river, heading out to sea… Also, please lobby your local MPs and water companies asking them to separate our rainwater and sewage systems to stop this happening.. Thanks”

Paddle Peak is a local charity and community group who’s goals are to improve access to our wonderful blue spaces, inspire local youngsters to take up paddlesports and to clean and care for the River Derwent and protect it’s wildlife. For more information checkout their website at

Huge thanks to all the local volunteers that help out tirelessly with this never ending rubbish cleaning task. Thanks to Cromford Mills, Manor Adventure Willersley, Matlock Bath Rowing Boats and The Pavillion for access and support. More thanks to Hou Canoes for our boats, Peak UK Darley Dale for our gear and Derbyshire Dales District Council for collecting the rubbish.

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