Volunteers united to clear up a ‘gem’ of a pond in their Sheffield community – removing dumped rubbish and overgrown weeds.
The work on Arbourthorne Pond, between East Bank Road and Eastern Avenue, was launched after requests from residents and ties in with Sheffield Council’s Clean Sheffield anti-litter campaign, which is backed by The Star.
A team comprising volunteers, park rangers and local councillors removed weeds, iron bars and blocks of wood from the pond so it can be used more easily by fishermen and made more attractive to visitors.
Coun Mike Drabble, who was at the clean up, said: “The pond is a real local gem in Arbourthorne.
“People use it all the time and when we have been out and about talking to people they often mentioned the pond.
“There was a lot of weeds blocking the pond so we took a whole load of those out. There was also some rubbish like iron bars, blocks of wood which had to go, we wanted to improve the pond for fishermen and the local community.”
Fishermen who often use the pond waded in to help during the clean up – put together by residents, local councillors and Heeley MP Louise Haigh – and there are also hopes of further improving the park.
Coun Drabble said: “There were some lilies in there which had got a bit too much so we needed to get those out. One of the lilies was that big we had to use the van to take it out.
“We want to make sure there are wildlife reserves there but also that the pond can be used.
“This is just a springboard, we are hoping to get people involved with fundraising and possibly creating a group so that we can further improve the park.”
The £100,000 Clean Sheffield campaign will run for a year and focus on litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling.
It aims to encourage people to ‘take pride’ in their city through education sessions and celebrating volunteers who already get their hands dirty to keep the streets clean.
Across Sheffield, around 9,250 tonnes of dropped litter is collected and disposed of each year – the equivalent of seven family cars.
Keeping the city clean costs £3.5m annually.