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Cleaning up the River Colne with Bags of Help

15 Nov 2018

Community-led scheme 'Watford in the Water' aims to raise awareness about water pollution and improve water quality.

Watford in the Water benefited from a £12,000 grant from Tesco’s Bags of Help, which uses the money raised from carrier bag sales to fund local projects across Britain, as voted for by customers in store. The group used this grant to clean up the area surrounding the River Colne, where intense exposure to industrial use and waste tipping has seen the river and the area suffer significant damage.

Sandy Belloni, Director Community Connection Projects at Colne Valley Park CIC, explains more.

“We started this scheme aiming to improve the water environment and raise awareness of the shocking amount of litter surrounding the River Colne.

“The funding from Tesco meant that we could begin our work improving waterbodies to create healthier river corridors, which can support a wide variety of wildlife species. The linked habitats provide homes to thriving wildlife populations, which are now more able to move freely and safely.

“With the help of Tesco and volunteers, we’ve already been able to improve the river’s amenity value, whilst also removing thousands of plastic bottles, cans and other polluting items. We hope the project inspires people to think twice before littering, and understand how important rivers are for our environment.”

Bags of Help – Tesco’s local community grant scheme

The Watford in the Water project is an excellent example of the local community coming together to benefit the environment, and we’re proud to have played a small part in this fantastic work.

Working with charity Groundwork, we’ve awarded £63 million in grants to 20,000 local community projects through Bags of Help, ranging from improving community buildings and outdoor spaces to new equipment, training coaches and volunteers, and hosting community events.

This is part of our wider Little Helps Plan, which is made up of three pillars: our people, products and places. Within this we have a long-standing commitment to reducing our own impact on the environment. You can read more here.

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