pride in pill river usk clean up

PIP River Usk Clean Up Program 2022 – 2023

Steve Preddy, Riverbank Coordinator, February 2022

This document describes plans for PIP’s clean-up of waste from the environs of the River Usk in Newport during 2022/23.

The PIP River Usk Clean Up Plan

Volunteers of PIP River Usk clean up events will be led by community groups (mainly Pride in Pill, as part of its riverbank clean-up programme). Where clean-ups take place on public land, Newport City Council will be asked to support with removal of items; bagged litter and other smaller items to be removed via the community clean-up booking process on the council website (advance notice of any large-scale events will be given); larger items to be taken off site either by the fly-tipping, grounds or countryside teams, through prior agreement. Close liaison with Natural Resources Wales takes place on an ongoing basis to ensure that environmental considerations are taken into account in planning any activity. Unless otherwise stated, all sites described are above normal high tide levels; discussions are taking place about methods of removing waste from the riverbanks which are exposed by the tides, with a view to a pilot waste removal exercise taking place on some stretches.

pip river clean up environment volunteers
Junk from the River Usk

A map showing the sites of PIP River Usk clean up is at the end of the document.

  1. The East Side – North to South

a) Glebelands Park

Work is planned with the Newport East Litter Picking Group: one or more clean-up events will take place here (possibly as joint events with Pride in Pill and/or St Julian’s residents).

b) Glanusk School South to Riverside

There are usually only small volumes of litter here, except after the very highest tides. Keep Wales Tidy Litter Champions cover this stretch so no special activity planned.

c) Riverside to the Rail Bridge

Waste has been washed up under the flood wall. Initial steps are (a) establish land ownership (b) use riverbank clean-up risk assessment drafted by Pride in Pill to determine if this can be safely removed as part of normal clean-up activity.

d) City Centre stretches – Newport Town Bridge to Corporation Road

These areas are covered by Pride in Pill’s regular riverbank clean-ups – volunteer events to be held as and when required.

e) Monkey Island and Kingfisher Walk

Work here was placed on hold during 2021 while access works have been underway. This area was thoroughly cleaned as part of the summer 2020 programme of work, and a site visit late in 2021 showed that only small amounts of new litter had been deposited by the tide. Potentially no need for another event here until late 2022 – monitor over the summer. Lysaght Village residents have expressed interest in clean-up work here.

f) From the south end of Kingfisher Walk to the Transporter Bridge

Access difficulties prevented inclusion of this stretch in the 2018/19 litter survey, although some waste is visible from the opposite bank. The banks are quite steep so not likely to be suitable for a group clean-up, and there is also a roost of wading birds here – disturbance to this will need to be avoided. Discuss further with NRW before undertaking any visits.

g) Below the Transporter Bridge to Hanson’s to Marshalls and Bird Port

A significant volunteer effort during the 2020 lockdowns resulted in the removal of hundreds of bags of waste. More material has inevitably been washed up, but volumes are much lower than they were and the creek between Marshalls and Bird Port (which trapped material deposited by the highest tides) has remained free of blockages. Given the flood defence works planned from Coronation Park south along the coast path, further clean-up work here will be on hold until this is complete. Monitor volumes over the summer.

h) The area around Marshall’s / Bird Port and along the Wales Coast Path to Pye Corner

The Newport East Litter Picking Group to organise one or more clean-up events here.

i) Liberty Steel foreshore

Waste volumes here are extremely high (this site is on a bend in the river and has an extensive saltmarsh shelf, so traps waste deposited by high tides very effectively. An NRW event here in 2018 removed a portion of the material. Liberty Steel are receptive to further such events taking place. Careful planning of the waste removal will be required. Matt Sellwood from Keep Wales Tidy has agreed to carry out the initial engagement with Liberty Steel.

  1. The West Side – South to North
pride in pill river environment clean up
Pulling out a trolley from the PIP River Usk clean up team

a) Alongside Newport Docks

This area was excluded from the initial surveys due to access issues. Contact has been made with Associated British Ports, and an initial site visit is being planned to assess the waste volumes, following which discussions will be held on options for waste removal.

b) The Transporter Bridge to Blaina Wharf

Volumes of waste along here are always relatively low – normal clean-up activity by Keep Wales Tidy litter champions and Pride in Pill will be sufficient here.

c) Spittles Point area

An abandoned homeless camp was cleared by Pride in Pill in March 2021. A follow-up visit to this stretch late in 2021 resulted in just 20 bags being collected so this can now be managed on an ongoing basis by litter champions or as part of normal Pride in Pill clean-up activity.
Some material was cleared in the spring from the tidal reed bed opposite the Blaina Wharf pub as part of the 2021 Newport Spring Clean. Because of nesting Reed Warblers, this area wasn’t looked at again over the summer. Following discussions with NRW, it has been agreed that work here should be in March as this is before bird breeding season and the reeds will be at their lowest making it easier to find and remove any waste.

d) Victoria Wharf – Usk Way car park and around

The large scale fly-tipping that occurred here in previous years has ceased. The Usk Way car park is still poorly managed but a) the fence stops litter from blowing into the river and b) ownership has changed hands and the site may be developed, so further work here is low priority.

e) City Centre Stretches – the SDR up to Newport Castle

Being covered by Pride in Pill’s regular riverbank clean-ups (see above).

f) The Old Sainsburys Site

An effective partnership approach has been established to deal with the fly-tipping here over the last year involving the landowner, Pride in Pill and Newport City Council. Pride in Pill run clean-up events, bagging up the material, the landowner hires a contractor to take it away, NCC oversee and provide a liaison function. This will continue during 2022, but a longer term solution for this site is needed.

g) Shaftesbury Park / Crindau Pill

The banks of the pill are steep and clean-up here poses a significant health and safety risk. As a result no activity is anticipated here in 2022/23.

h) The M4 to Pillmawr Road

General litter volumes are low. Keep Wales Tidy litter champions have covered this and no activity over and above this is needed, except for a pile of abandoned shopping trolleys and rusting motorbikes which have been there for at least three years and which to date no organisation has been prepared to move – options for the removal of these are being explored.

i) The North Side of the River West of Caerleon

An initial scouting visit from PIP River Bank Clean Up team, along this stretch was carried out in 2021. There are large volumes of material on the banks and the adjacent fields. Landowner contact is a prerequisite for addressing this stretch, but this is not a priority for 2022/23.

river clean up map
Map of locations referred to in the plan

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