Volunteers needed to clean up Otley waterfront

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A call is being made for volunteers to join in a community river clean-up day and help improve the waterfront in Otley.

People are being asked to help with litter picking, vegetation and tree management along the River Wharfe from 10am until 3pm today.

The River Stewardship Company is running the volunteer day, in partnership with the Environment Agency and Leeds City Council, as part of preparations ahead of works on flood defences in the town. WSP, consultant on the scheme, is also taking part in the event.

The town suffered flooding on three occasions between November and December 2015, with 74 properties affected. The government is now investing £2 million in a scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses.

Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Effective stewardship is a key element of maintaining a healthy river system as well as crucially reducing the threat of flooding, which communities in and around Otley continue to be vulnerable to. “Volunteer days like this are a great way of helping the community, meeting new people and carrying out a really important task so I hope everyone taking part enjoys their day.”

The flood defence scheme is being led by Leeds City Council working closely with the Environment Agency. The next steps include submitting an outline business case, seeking planning permission and developing a detailed design before construction can begin in autumn 2019.

For more information about volunteering, email Sarah.emberson@the-rsc.co.uk or call 07766 352932.

All personal protective wear will be provided on the day, but volunteers should come in suitable clothing and sturdy footwear.

A further volunteer day is being planned for June 13.