By Jo Moseley
Photo: Ian Thompson
Welsh Dee Trust: It Shouldn’t Be In The Dee
I’m sure you have read media reports highlighting pollution challenges in our freshwater rivers. Organisations like the 2 Minute Foundation, On Planet Patrol, the Canal and River Trust, the Rivers Trust and Surfers Against Sewage are all making a difference.
I was keen to hear more about another, the Welsh Dee Trust, an environmental charity with the objective of restoring the brooks, streams and rivers of the Dee catchment for wildlife and people. The River Dee spans the border of Wales and England and having paddled on it, I know how beautiful it is. The Welsh Dee Trust is an organisation that prioritises actions and wants to make real changes. One of five work programmes at the Trust, ‘It Shouldn’t Be In The Dee,’ aims to identify and solve sources of pollution, such as plastic and litter, sewage and urban runoff, with the help of local communities.
A series of successful stand-up paddleboarding litter picks with SUP Lass Paddle Adventures in 2022 tackled some hard-to-reach places on the River Dee. They found that plastic drink bottles were the most prevalent single-use plastic pollution. A clean, healthy Dee relies on the community coming together, and the contribution from paddleboarders and volunteers on and off the water has been excellent.
The Trust is working with researchers and students from the University of Chester on a study to understand the distribution of microplastics in the catchment with the support of citizen scientists collecting water samples for analysis. There are many opportunities to get involved with Welsh Dee Trust, including volunteering on other SUP litter picks in 2023. If you’d like to be part of one, find out more at www.welshdeetrust.com
and follow SUP Lass on Instagram @sup_lass and www.suplass.com
Hello, my name is Jo Moseley, and I am the author of Stand Up Paddleboarding in Great Britain – Beautiful Places to Paddleboard in England, Scotland and Wales and host of The Joy of SUP – The Paddleboarding Sunshine Podcast. I am also a proud ambassador for the 2 Minute Foundation and Seaful Charity.
In this column, I look forward to sharing inspiring stories of environmental projects, mental well-being initiatives and how we can make SUP open to more people. If you have a story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Instagram @jomoseley.