Article - The River Blog

Litter Ducks

Author: Jeanette Dyson
Categories: Events, Family

To celebrate Holmfirth Arts Festival, we teamed up with fairandfunky, a community interest company that encourages and empowers people to take little steps to change the world.

They ran a series of Scraptastic workshops and events for schools and local people, creating Litter Ducks, which can be seen along the river throughout the summer.

Helen Robinson from fairandfunky tells us more about the thinking behind Litter Ducks.

Litter Ducks

All fairandfunky workshops and events empower people to take their own little steps to change the world. We encourage people to look at the world around them and find the ways to make a difference…however small.

We’re delighted to work with River Holme Connections again on a project entitled ‘Litter Ducks’; creating opportunity to take little steps to change the world right on our doorstep.

River Holme Connections are passionate about the River Holme, it’s ecology, heritage and people and ‘Litter Ducks’ celebrates the re-design of the ‘duck feeding area’ in the centre of Holmfirth and encourages the community to think about the River and how they can take action to look after it.

Did you know bread is bad for ducks?

Ducks need a varied diet to be healthy, bread doesn’t have much nutritional value and fills ducks up so they don’t forage for foods they would naturally eat, which can lead to malnutrition. Not only that but the leftover bread can lead to algal growth and spread disease.

Litter in the food chain

Litter dropped on land often ends up in our watercourses resulting in harm to land, river and marine life. Litter (especially plastics), polystyrene cups and discarded packaging are choking river habitats and often go unnoticed as they are hidden on the bottom of rivers.

Food wrappers made up around 20-28 per cent of the litter waste in our rivers (Marine Pollution Bulletin 2017) and these can have a damaging impact on underwater life. Large pieces can trap animals but smaller pieces can be in advertently eaten. Once digested, plastic can release toxic chemicals which are then passed through the food chain. These toxic chemicals, in high doses, could harm the health of wildlife.

Together we can make a change

Together with River Holme Connections, fairandfunky have been involved in ‘river clean ups’ this Spring and some of the litter collected will be used in ‘Litter Ducks’. 20 SCRAPtastic litter sculptures will be created by schools and the community to be placed along the River Holme from Sands to Hinchliffe Mill.

We’d love to see people walk along the River Holme to look out for all 20 ‘Litter Ducks’, to look out for litter, to look out for wildlife, and look out for the ducks that will help you share your pledge to look after the River Holme.

We hope that ‘Litter Ducks’ will encourage people to stop and think about their impact on the River Holme and its ecology. And if you’d like to take action please join the team of volunteers at River Holme Connections!

Helen Robinson

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