Love Your Magnificent Severn is back! And this year we have more boats, more support and new innovative ideas for collecting and recording litter in our rivers. Join our Rivers Team to help combat one of our biggest environmental issues facing our lakes, rivers and seas.

What is Love Your Magnificent Severn?

Love Your Magnificent Severn is an annual campaign that highlights the huge quantities of litter that can be found in our rivers and the threat it has on our water quality and wildlife. It is estimated that over 80% of plastic waste enters our oceans via rivers, which equates to a staggering 8 million tons of plastic a year. This is the same as emptying a rubbish truck into the ocean every minute.

Litter includes everything from chewing gum to building waste but the most common type of litter is plastic. The three ways it enters our rivers is by throwing it in the bin instead of recycling, littering on our streets and motorways and by products going down the drain such as sanitary towels, wet wipes and microfibers from cosmetic products.

As part of our campaign and in recognition of these stats, the Rivers Team will be embarking on a 3 day canoe trip beginning in Shrewsbury and finishing in Bridgnorth. The aim of this journey will be to use canoes and coracles (which we have made ourselves!) to retrieve litter from the River Severn whilst recording everything we take out. Last year we recorded over 5,000 pieces of litter and this year we are interested in seeing if we get more or less. Once we are able to compare this year’s records to 2018 records we will be able to establish litter hotspots and better be able to tackle the issue of litter entering our Rivers.

Join Us On Our Quest For Healthy Litter Free Rivers

  1. 2nd June 2019 – Campaign launch at the Shrewsbury River Festival, a chance to get to see our coracles up close and potentially have a go inside the craft itself. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet the team that will be taking on all three days of litter picking.​​​​​​
  2. 11th June 2019 – Starting in Shrewsbury we will be working extensively between the Welsh Bridge and the weir with potentially a little wander up the Rea Brook before making our way to Attingham Park as our final destination.
  3. 12th June 2019 – Setting off from Attingham Park we will be working our way down to Ironbridge and tackling some of the most beautiful parts of the river that also have major issues in terms of litter and pollution. Likely to finish the day with a blast down Jackfield Rapids!
  4. 13th June – Final stretch of the journey, paddle from Ironbridge to Bridgnorth to meet up with Environment Agency and the local SWT branch.
  5. 23rd June 2019– Whittington Castle Green Day – we will be litter picking the moat, also a tributary of the River Perry and celebrating the end of the #LYMag7 campaign!

We are encouraging all members of the public to join us for sections of the river that they feel capable of covering to help out with the litter pick. Your support will be invaluable in helping to raise awareness and making our rivers healthier for us and wildlife. If you have any questions please email us at:


River Reflector

Why Litter Pick Our Rivers?

Rivers are the arterial network on our planet; they feed our oceans and provide life to our land. When they get contaminated, adverse impacts occur to water quality, aquatic life, seabirds and to us. Rubbish such as plastic does not biodegrade; it accumulates in the form of micro plastics and solid objects. By litter picking our rivers and getting involved in campaigns like Love Your Magnificent Severn we are able to highlight the extent of litter that can be found in parts of England’s biggest river as well as clean are rivers up for the wildlife that depend on them to survive.

We shouldn’t need to litter pick our rivers, they should already be clean. However, this is now the reality of our water environments. Careless waste disposal of damaging products that we use in our everyday lives means are rivers are susceptible to litter and unhealthy conditions. Despite this, there are a number of ways in which we can prevent litter getting into our rivers and oceans, here are some of them:

1. Reduce Your Use of Single-Use Plastics

Wherever you live, the easiest and most direct way that you can get started is by reducing your own use of single-use plastics. Single-use plastics include plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-out containers, and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded.

The best way to do this is by a) refusing any single-use plastics that you do not need (e.g. straws, plastic bags, takeout utensils, takeout containers), and b) purchasing, and carrying with you, reusable versions of those products, including reusable grocery bags, produce bags, bottles, utensils, coffee cups, and dry cleaning garment bags. And when you refuse single-use plastic items, help businesses by letting them know that you would like them to offer alternatives.

2. Recycle Properly

This should go without saying, but when you use single-use (and other) plastics that can be recycled, always be sure to recycle them. At present, just 9% of plastic is recycled worldwide. Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean and reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation. If you need help finding a place to recycle plastic waste near you, check Earth911’s recycling directory. It's also important to check with your local recycling centre about the types of plastic they accept.

3. Support Bans

Many municipalities around the world have enacted bans on single use plastic bags, takeout containers, and bottles. You can support the adoption of such policies in your community.

4. Avoid Products Containing Microbeads

Tiny plastic particles, called “microbeads,” have become a growing source of ocean plastic pollution in recent years. Microbeads are found in some face scrubs, toothpastes, and body washes, and they readily enter our oceans and waterways through our sewer systems, and affect hundreds of marine species. Avoid products containing plastic microbeads by looking for “polythelene” and “polypropylene” on the ingredient labels of your cosmetic products

5. Spread the Word

Stay informed on issues related to plastic pollution and help make others aware of the problem. Tell your friends and family about how they can be part of the solution.

6. Support Organisations Addressing Plastic Pollution

There are many non-profit organisations working to reduce and eliminate ocean plastic pollution in a variety of different ways, including Oceanic Society, Plastic Pollution Coalition, 5 Gyres, Algalita, Plastic Soup Foundation, and others. These organisations rely on donations from people like you to continue their important work. Even small donations can make a big difference!

7. Join in Campaigns

Join campaigns such as Love Your Magnificent Severn and make a difference!