WANTED: Volunteers to help get salmon leaping through Sheffield again

Salmon could be back on the river Don in Sheffield by 2020
Salmon could be back on the river Don in Sheffield by 2020
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Volunteers are needed to clean up the Don as efforts continue to restore salmon to the river for the first time in 150 years.

Around 100 people have already helped clear rubbish from the waterway and its banks in South Yorkshire over the last year.

A reader's photo showing rubbish dumped beside the river Don in Neepsend

A reader's photo showing rubbish dumped beside the river Don in Neepsend

But more volunteers are wanted to muck in and tidy up the river between Sheffield and Doncaster, with numerous litter picks organised over the coming weeks.

The massive clean-up operation is being coordinated to create what is known as the Don Valley Way Heritage Trail, stretching some 29 miles between the two cities.

Fish passes are being built to help salmon navigate weirs along the route, in the hope they will soon be leaping upstream through Sheffield.

The efforts are part of a £1.4m three-year Lottery funded scheme by the Don Catchment Rivers Trust to spruce up the once heavily polluted river and attract more wildlife and walkers to follow its path.

More litter can be seen piled up beside the river Don at Club Mill Road, Neepsend, in this photo sent by the same reader

More litter can be seen piled up beside the river Don at Club Mill Road, Neepsend, in this photo sent by the same reader

Rachel Walker, the trust’s community engagement officer, said it had also been working with schoolchildren dubbed ‘River Guardians’ to brighten up neglected spots along the riverside with new artwork.

“It’s not just about cleaning up the river. It’s about getting people to take pride in the Don and to stop dropping litter in the river,” she said.

The scale of the task is clear from these photos taken by reader Jack Toon of litter lining the river in Club Mill Road in Neepsend, which he said is plagued by fly-tippers.

Upcoming clean-ups along the Don include litter picks in Doncaster on March 14 and 15, and in Rotherham on March 18.

For a full list of volunteering opportunities, visit www.dcrt.org.uk.

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