Scooters and junk discovered by volunteers in five-hour clean up operation

Tyne Rivers Trust volunteers with debris pulled out of Monkton burn. Picture by FRANK REID
Tyne Rivers Trust volunteers with debris pulled out of Monkton burn. Picture by FRANK REID

Headboards and scooters were just some of the items recovered when volunteers stage a clean up operation in South Tyneside burn.

Twenty volunteers spent almost five hours cleaning up land and water around Monkton Burn in Jarrow.

John Cook, Tyne Rivers Trust volunteer cleaning up Monkton burn. Picture by FRANK REID

John Cook, Tyne Rivers Trust volunteer cleaning up Monkton burn. Picture by FRANK REID

They managed to collect enough rubbish to fill 50 black bags.

The event had been organised by the independent environmental charity Tyne Rivers Trust.

Jenny Elliott, the trust’s volunteer co-ordinator, said: “It was a very good turn out of mainly local people who came along.

“We also had some members of staff from Balfour Beatty who are carrying out work in the area join us, so that was lovely too,

“We spent around five hours picking up all the litter and mess and we fulled 50 black bags, which is an impressive amount.

“There was such an array of things collected and quite a lot of bigger items like a headboard from a bed.”

She added: “Sadly in recent times this spot has become a dumping ground for people to get rid of their rubbish.”

The burn feeds into the River Don in Jarrow, which then in turn flows into the Tyne.

Water voles have been spotted on the Don and it’s hoped that in the future they could also be visitors to Monkton.

Jenny said: “The burn is important, but all this rubbish means it’s getting very blocked up and congested.

“Water voles have been seen on the Don, so in the future there should be no reason why they can’t also come to this area too, but obviously they won;t to spend time there if it’s a mess.

“This site has a lot of potential and it’s important people take care of it and dispose of their rubbish correctly.”

The Tyne Rivers Trust was created in 2004 when the second Tyne Tunnel project was being developed.

There was concern that building the tunnel would significantly impact the river’s ecosystem and to mitigate for this, funding was set aside to establish the Trust.

It’s the only charity dedicated to improving the Tyne Catchment.

Members work with people and communities to protect and enhance the River Tyne and its tributaries, so they are healthy, biodiverse, and an asset for present and future generations.

For more information on the trust, or to find out about future litter picking projects, visit www.tyneriverstrust.org.