Unfortunately 2018 sees a record amount of rubbish on our stretch of the Thames and a greater effort will be needed to try to get the whole stretch done this year.

Please try to find the time to help!

Follow The River Clean Up Facebook Page for updates

Details for the 2018 Shiplake to Sonning River Clean Up
  • Meet at 11 am just upstream Shiplake Lock OR at grass
    triangle by French Horn – Sonning
  • If you have a canoe or rowing boat please bring
  • If you need a boat, please email us shiplakeoutloars@gmail.com
  • We suggest you bring gloves and wear old clothes & life jackets/ buoyancy aids
  • We’ll provide bin bags
  • All rubbish to be put on Shiplake College front and it will be placed in the EA’s rubbish barge by lock
  • Avoid collecting by the weirs & near any nesting birds

Thank you

Call Guy on 01491 520 002 for more info

There, in a meadow, by the river’s side, 

A flock of nymphs I chanced to espy, 

All lovely daughters of the flood thereby, 

With goodly greenish locks, all loose untied, 

As each had been a bride; 

And each one had a little wicker basket, 

Made of fine twigs, entrailed curiously, 

In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket, 

And with fine fingers cropt full featously 

The tender stalks on high. 

Of every sort, which in that meadow grew, 

They gathered some; the violet pallid blue, 

The little daisy, that at evening closes, 

The virgin lily, and the primrose true, 

With store of vermeil roses, 

To deck their bridegrooms’ posies 

Against the bridal day, which was not long: 

      Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. 

Edmund Spenser

Thank you to David Woodward in Sonning for these words:

‘Sweet Thames run softly till I end my song.’. So wrote Edmund Spenser in his Prothalamion in 1596. Thanks to decades of dedicated work by the Environment Agency, the water runs a great deal sweeter than it once did. Cleaner water supports not just salmon, but also otters, eels and the lamprey, a surfeit of which supposedly resulted in the death of King Henry 1, who lies buried at Reading Abbey.

Residents and visitors to this Thames-side parish can hardly fail to be delighted by magnificent views along the old father’s banks, but look more closely and you will notice a kind of pollution which has yet to be tackled and which, as viewers of Blue Planet 2 discovered recently, also threatens our seas.

Plastic waste of all kinds bobs and swirls in our river, and where the water is quiet, accumulates in quantity. Much of this material is testimony to our obsession with single use plastic containers of all kinds. Much of it will eventually make its way to the sea where it will not decay for hundreds of years. Instead it will be slowly broken down into tiny particles which are ingested by marine life and perhaps then be eaten by us. It is estimated that by by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight in the ocean than fish.

Pics from 2017 Clean Up