AN ANNUAL clean-up of the River Dee and surrounding areas has been hailed a success.
Hundreds of volunteers turned out to help with Big Dee Day 2013, which is
c0o-ordinated by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), Flintshire Council and Natural Resources Wales.
Clean-up activities took place between September 20 and 21 with a special breakfast launch taking place in Connah’s Quay.
Volunteers from the Conservation Trust kicked things off the day before as they collected 35 bags of litter and larger items from the mud flats in front of the University of Chester Riverside campus and path around the Roodee.
Sponsorship from Hickory’s Smokehouse enabled the work to take place.
Lord Mayor of Chester Jill Houlbrook, who doubles as Admiral of the Dee, visited the Groves where Chester Aid to the Homeless and graduate employees from CWaC painted 50 benches.
Colleagues from Hickory’s Smokehouse collected 30 bags of litter along with tyres, wheels and other items from the edge of the Dee, including the Meadows and Edgar’s Field.
Tom McGovern, who runs the Wild Area Community Conservation Company in Saltney, worked with Foundation Enterprise Northwest to clear litter from the River Lane area of the Dee.
Staff from McDonald’s headed to Farndon to help rangers paint benches, repair the boardwalk, clear vegetation and collect litter, while council ranges helped volunteers cut back overgrown vegetation and pathways on the Meadows as well as remove litter.
The team from McDonald’s also helped to clear rubbish from The Cop area off Sealand Road and along the cycle path leading to Flintshire as well as paint hand rails and benches.
Chester MP Stephen Mosley also went along to lend support. During the breakfast launch in Connah’s Quay, the Big Dee Day Awards were presented for the first time to community groups, individuals, businesses and conservation groups who had been involved in previous years.
Trophies made from salvaged Welsh oak were presented to Hickory’s Smokehouse and Kingspan, Chester Aid to the Homeless and Holywell Scout Group, Tom McGovern and Judith Wright, and the RNLI and Dee Wildfowlers Club.
Cllr Lynn Riley, executive member for localities, said: “A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers and organisations involved in yet another successful Big Dee Day weekend. It was wonderful to be able to recognise the unique contribution made by certain individuals, businesses and community groups.
“While it is always so difficult to decide who gets a special mention when so many put in so much effort throughout the year, we did want to thank the RNLI for the great job they did in helping the dolphin return to the sea.”