Boat Race Crews Combat Litter

Ancient rivalries put aside as teams swap oars for litter-pickers


Event Details


Monday March 6th, 12pm – 3pm


Thames Foreshore, end of Queen Caroline Street, by Hammersmith Bridge, North Side


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The crews of the world famous Oxford Cambridge Boat Race will be swapping oars for litter-pickers to help litter-blitz the Thames foreshore in Hammersmith on Monday March 6th with environmental charity Thames21, official charity of The Boat Race 2006.

The fiercely competitive teams will band together to clear litter from the riverbank at low tide – like shopping trolleys, tyres, plastic bags and bottles.

The crews will be clearing litter alongside children from local primary schools, who will be finding out first hand about the impact of litter on the river and its wildlife.

Tom Edwards, President of Cambridge University Boat Club said “The history of The Boat Race is intimately linked with the four and a quarter miles of river between Putney and Chiswick Bridges, a relationship that spans more than 150 years. With such close ties to this historic stretch of water, we have a strong desire to support any charity that endeavours to create a clean, safe and sustainable Thames waterside environment. We all should play a responsible role in ensuring a healthy River Thames for the next generation of Londoners, and Blues”.

Barney Williams, President of Oxford University Boat Club added “As rowers competing on the magnificent River Thames, we understand the value of greener cleaner rivers. For this reason, we are delighted to don our Wellies, and make a practical contribution to the outstanding work that is being done by Thames21 on London’s waterways.”

Although the river Thames is today one of the cleanest city rivers in Europe, at least 1,000 tonnes of rubbish is removed from the tidal Thames every year, and the charity warns that much more litter is washed out to sea with devastating effects on marine life. Sea turtles are regularly killed by swallowing plastic bags which they mistake for jelly fish.

Thames21Chief Executive of Thames21 Debbie Leach said “We’re delighted the crews are taking time out of their punishing schedule to lend their support at one of the many clean ups Thames21 hold throughout the year. Rowing, sailing, fishing, walking, bird-watching or simply relaxing, are just a few of the activities everyone can enjoy on the Thames. Involving communities in improving the health of London’s 400 mile network of rivers and canals brings us one step closer to turning the tide on litter.”

Thames21 mobilise volunteers across London to take part in around 50 riverside clean ups every year and provide practical know how and equipment to local people and organisations interested in cleaning up their local stretch of river.


February 22, 2006