VOLUNTEER groups from Leeds to Skipton have been out in force giving the River Aire a giant spring clean during a weekend of action.

Volunteers from the Local Rivers Trust, angling clubs, community groups and environmental campaign groups picked litter along the Aire from its source near Skipton all the way to Leeds.

All the groups work on the River Aire throughout the year and came together to celebrate the wildlife their efforts supports. By tackling litter they aim to make the river a better place for wildlife and people.

“The River Aire is home to a huge range of wildlife from fish, like grayling and Atlantic salmon, to otters and kingfishers. We know that wildlife can end up entangled in litter or it breaks down and enters the food chain. It’s always a shame to see it when walking by the beautiful river. It’s been great to see such a huge effort all along the river. Together we are ensuring a bright future for the River Aire. It’s a great place to walk or fish along and deserves to be well cared for,” said Simon Watts, community engagement manager for the Aire Rivers Trust.

Groups taking part included Friends of Silsden Beck, Cleaner Greener Cononley , and Wild About Lothersdale.

In total the groups collected 513 bin bags of litter, 103 tyres and all manner of items including fridges, road signs, bikes, shopping trollies, bed, settee, and a bath tub!

The event is a celebration of #OurCleanRiver as part of the Aire Rivers Trust and Environment Agency’s Developing the Natural Aire project.

Details of all events and how to join can be found on the Aire Rivers Trust’s website at www.aireriverstrust.org.uk and on social media using the hashtag #OurCleanRiver.