Eyes down for a cleaner environment

08.10.2014

Volunteers from across the region are needed to help give pollution to watercourses the boot.

Northumbrian Water is today launching an initiative which will encourage and enable people to help protect and improve water quality in rivers, streams, becks, burns and bathing waters.

Volunteers, over the age of 18, are being sought to sign up to the water company’s Water Rangers scheme which will involve them walking along public access routes next to watercourses, once a week or once a fortnight. There are 32 routes to choose from, which are between 210 metres and 1.2 kilometres long.

After doing their walk, Water Rangers will report on the condition of the river, stream, beck, burn or bathing water within their route, to Northumbrian Water, so that any potential pollution can be dealt with quickly.

Those who sign up will receive thorough training, a reward to reflect an annual reduction on their annual water and sewerage bill and other thank you incentives, including an invitation to an annual celebration dinner.

Reporters and photographers are invited to meet Den Lilley, who is the first in the region to sign up to the scheme, on Wednesday October 8 2014 at 10.00am on the southern side of Baths Bridge, near Elvet Waterside, Durham City (DH1 3DA).

Den will do the first ‘Water Ranger walk’, on Wednesday morning, with Northumbrian Water’s Wastewater Director, Richard Warneford. They will walk along a section of the River Wear between New Elvet Bridge and Baths Bridge, in Durham City.

Den who is 71 and lives in Newton Hall, Durham, said: “I thoroughly enjoy bird watching and fishing so it’s great to be able to give something back to help look after the environment which gives me so much pleasure. I am also Chairman of Durham City Angling Club and having clean water in the River Wear is vital for our fishermen to be able to enjoy their sport and also to the club to ensure we maintain and attract new members.

“The Water Rangers scheme reflects the effort that Northumbrian Water is putting into being able to react and deal with pollution quickly. I think it is very admirable. I am looking forward to doing my walks and enjoying nature even more!”

The scheme is being run in Skelton (Middlesbrough), Peterlee, Hebburn, Jarrow, Stanley, Durham City Centre, Corbridge, Stocksfield, Bedlington, Ashington, Cambois and Morpeth.

These ‘hot spot’ areas have been chosen as they have watercourses in their catchment areas which are prone to pollution. (Details of the walking routes are in notes to editors. Maps of individual routes are available on request).

Northumbrian Water’s Wastewater Director, Richard Warneford, said: “We appreciate the significant impact that the quality of watercourses and bathing waters has on the ecological system, tourism, economy and recreational activities within our region.

“Our Water Rangers scheme reflects our commitment to looking after the environment and this initiative is a creative, healthy and fun way to encourage our customers and local communities to help us to do this.

“We monitor our sewer network very closely by using technology and manual inspections and we are continually maintaining and upgrading the network. Northumbrian Water’s supply area is vast – we cover a geographical area of 9,422 square kilometres and we monitor and look after thousands of assets, including more than 29,500 kilometres of sewer pipe.

“Pollution from our assets is something we are taking very seriously and working very hard to tackle. The Water Rangers scheme will provide us with further information and knowledge to help us do this. I am delighted that Den has signed up to the scheme and hope that his enthusiasm and support for Water Rangers will encourage others to sign up too.”

For further detailed information about the Water Rangers scheme and to apply to be a volunteer, log onto www.nwl.co.uk/WaterRangers, email waterrangers@nwl.co.uk, call 0191 301 6308 or come along to an open day (dates, times and locations of open days are detailed in notes to editors).

Everyone can do their bit to keep watercourses and bathing waters in our region healthy and clean by only flushing toilet paper, pee and poo down the loo and by making sure that the drains that serve homes and businesses are connected to the right sewer.

For further information please contact Cara Charlton, Northumbrian Water, on 0191 301 6720 or 07764 926 728 – cara.charlton@nwl.co.uk.

DETAILS OF WALKING ROUTES AND ASSOCIATED WATERCOURSES

Skelton Pit Hills Stell Pit Hill Stell which flows into Saltburn bathing water
Skelton Bennison Banks Unnamed watercourse which flows into Millholme Beck and then into Skelton Beck
Skelton Layland Beck Layland Beck which flows into Millholme Beck and then into Skelton Beck
Skelton Fox Hounds Jocks Row Beck which flows into Alumwork Beck then into Skelton Beck
Peterlee Castle Eden Burn West Castle Eden Burn
Peterlee Castle Eden Burn East Castle Eden Burn
Hebburn/Jarrow Headworth Lane River Don
Hebburn/Jarrow Primrose Bridge River Don
Hebburn/Jarrow Cemetary Road River Don
Hebburn/Jarrow The Underpass River Don
Stanley Middles Wood Stanley Burn which then flows into Twizzell Burn, Chester Burn and then the Wear
Stanley Stanley Wood Stanley Burn which then flows into Twizzell Burn, Chester Burn and then the Wear
Durham Orchard Drive Unnamed water course in park which flows into the River Wear
Durham Southstreet Banks River Wear
Durham Bow Banks River Wear
Durham Baths Bridge River Wear
Durham Pelaw Wood Beck Pelaw Wood Beck which flows into the River Wear
Corbridge/Stocksfield Stocksfield Burn Stocksfield Burn which flows into the River Tyne
Corbridge/Stocksfield Well Bank River Tyne
Corbridge/Stocksfield The Stanners River Tyne
Cambois Cambois beach Cambois bathing water
Bedlington/Ashington/Cambois Green Letch Green Letch which flows into Sleek Burn and then into the River Blyth
Bedlington/Ashington/Cambois Stakeford Bridge River Wansbeck
Bedlington/Ashington/Cambois Sheepwash Gardens River Wansbeck
Bedlington/Ashington/Cambois Furnace Bank River Blyth
Bedlington/Ashington/Cambois Bedlington Bridge River Blyth
Morpeth Borehole Lane River Wansbeck
Morpeth Cotting Burn Cotting burn which flows into the River Wansbeck
Morpeth Church Burn Church Burn which flows into the River Wansbeck
Morpeth Carlisle Park Castle Wood Burn which flows into the River Wansbeck
Morpeth Postern Burn Postern Burn which flows into the River Wansbeck
Morpeth Carlisle View River Wansbeck

Open Day Locations

– all open days will be held between 3.00pm and 7.00pm

Volunteers from Hebburn and Jarrow – Monday 20 October 2014
Jarrow Community Centre
Cambrian Street
Jarrow
Tyne & Wear
NE32 3QN

Volunteers from Corbridge and Stocksfield – Tuesday 21 October 2014
Tyne House
Mill Way
Horsley
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 0PA

Volunteers from Stanley and Durham – Wednesday 22 October 2014
Civic Hall Stanley
Front Street
Stanley
DH9 ONA

Volunteers from Skelton – Friday 24 October 2014
Committee Room
Skelton Civic Hall
Coniston Road
Skelton
Saltburn-by-the-Sea
TS12 2HP

Volunteers from Peterlee – Monday 27 October 2014
Roseby Road Wellbeing Centre
Roseby Road
Horden
County Durham
SR8 4RJ

Volunteers from Morpeth, Ashington and Bedlington – Wednesday 29 October 2014
Stakeford and Bomarsund Social Welfare Centre
West Gordon Terrace
Stakeford
Northumberland
NE65 5UD

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