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Pictured: River of rubbish washed up in Salford Canal by Storm Gareth

Pictured: The river of rubbish washed up by storms as 400,000 volunteers pledge their support to the Mail’s Great British Spring Clean

  • Trail of plastic rubbish seen floating in canal outside BBC Salford headquarters
  • Washed by after a wild weekend of rain, thunder and hail from Storm Gareth
  • Mail’s litter-picking campaign has today reached 400,000-volunteer milestone
  • The Great British Spring Clean will run between March 22 and April 23. Register at

Stretching across the canal basin, this raft of rubbish is grim testimony to our throwaway culture.

Plastic bottles, food packaging, polystyrene, carrier bags and even car tyres have formed the floating island in the shadow of the BBC headquarters in Salford.

The eyesore in the Manchester Ship Canal is a frequent sight following bad weather such as the heavy rainfall brought by Storm Gareth.

David Lancaster, a Salford councillor, said it was part of ‘an ongoing battle with Mother Nature’.

A huge floating island of rubbish has appeared in the quayside close to Media City in Manchester following a week of storms. Empty bottles, wheels and a fridge have been washed up

Storm Gareth has caused havoc all over the country but this shocking sight will cause misery to the wildlife that have made the basin their home

‘We are aware of this particular build-up, which is in our waters, and we have begun removing it,’ he told the Manchester Evening News.

‘Five local rivers drain into the Quays so natural and other debris caught up in those rivers is washed down and accumulates. Debris builds up particularly quickly after heavy rain.’

BBC presenter Nicky Campbell posted a video of swans swimming in fly-tipped waste near the BBC complex last year. 

Volunteers taking part in the Mail’s Great British Spring Clean are set to hit 400,000 as an army of litter-pickers dedicate spare time to tackle waste 

An army of more than 400,000 public-spirited volunteers have pledged their precious time to help clear the litter blighting our neighbourhoods.

Over the weekend, another 10,000 people signed up to Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, backed by the Daily Mail, from March 22 to April 23.

This takes the total number of volunteers to 400,208 – well above the 370,000 people who signed up for last year’s campaign. Encouragingly, this includes 144,711 children.

With just a few days until the clean-up begins, the half a million mark is now in sight. And last night, campaign organisers at Keep Britain Tidy asked for one final push to hit this target.

More than 400,000 volunteers have pledged to join Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, which is backed by the Daily Mail and takes place between March 22 and April 23 (stock image)

It is hoped half a million people will sign up to the Great British Spring Clean, which has been backed by Theresa May (left) and Sir David Attenborough (right)

Richard McIlwain, the charity’s deputy chief executive, said: ‘With a week to go before the formal campaign launch, we are now asking everyone across the country for one last big push to get us over the line and hit our target of half a million volunteers cleaning up the country.’

A shocking 30million tons of litter is collected from our streets each year, costing councils an estimated £1billion annually. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers will head out from Friday to take part in the biggest clean-up Britain has ever seen, with events organised across the country.

Theresa May backed the campaign, with the Government recently announcing it would allocate £9.75million to allow every council to support local clean-ups.

This is part of their drive to make littering ‘culturally unacceptable within a generation’. It has also been backed by Prince William and TV cookery stars Mary Berry and Prue Leith. Conservationists including Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Bear Grylls have also approved.

Natasha Ray (right), Litter Heroes Ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy with pupils of Springdale First School at Broadstone in Dorset for the Great British Spring Clean

Last week, United Nations Environment Assembly president Siim Kiisler praised the campaign for sending out a ‘strong message’ that littering is unacceptable. After hearing about the mass litter pick in Britain, he told an international environmental gathering in Kenya that cleaning up towns, cities, beaches and the countryside was vital in raising awareness of waste disposal.

Mr Kiisler said: ‘They see that their friend, neighbour or colleague from work or member of their family went out and, with their own bare hands, picked up some trash – because there is no other way to collect it. If they see their friends doing it, they will probably think twice before dropping litter again.’

Some high street giants have also lent their support, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, Greggs, McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and John Lewis.

The Daily Mail has long campaigned against the scourge of plastic in the environment, putting pressure on politicians and businesses which led to the tax on single-use plastic bags and the ban on microbeads in cosmetics.

The Great British Spring Clean will run between March 22 and April 23. Register at


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