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Video: Meet the 'friends' who give up their time to keep River Kelvin litter-free

Friends group calls for more volunteers to keep river clean and bolster work of vital pressure group.

When most of us are putting our feet up after a week at work, a small band of volunteers is just beginning its task.

Every first Saturday of the month, the Friends of the River Kelvin (FORK) gather at designated locations to clean stretches of the river.

Watch: Friends of the River Kelvin carry out regular litter picks.

Armed with bin bags, gloves and litter sticks, the volunteers remove bottles, cans, packaging and the general detritus of modern life from its banks and waters.

And so they help bring the natural beauty of the environment back to life.

It is an operation that has been ongoing for several years, in which time the tiny band of volunteers has removed tonnes of rubbish.

But their work is never done. A bit like the proverbial painting of the Forth Bridge, the task is perpetual - the litter, sadly, ever-present.

Volunteers: People give up their time to keep the river clean.

But to anyone in the West End and in other areas where the river runs through, it is obvious that their work has made a huge difference.

Now the group is inviting more people to lend a hand and help in the task of preserving and protecting an important habitat for both wildlife and people.

Lawrence King is one of the volunteers who has been giving up his time to keep the River Kelvin looking its best for all communities along its course.

Speaking at the latest litter-picking session, Lawrence said: "This is part of a monthly plan of the group to keep the environment along the river as clean as possible from litter and other pollutants.

Help: Friends of the River Kelvin are inviting new members.

"We organise groups on the first Saturday of every month and intermittently during the week as well with people that are available to keep the area clean.

"So over the last three of four years there has been a remarkable transformation along the whole length of the river because of the work that us and others have done for the benefit of all the communities that live along the river."

He said: "We've had approximately a dozen people out today. It varies depending upon the weather. Anything from five to 20 people come along at various stages of the year.

"And we are grateful to them all because without them we obviously couldn't do as much as we do.

"People can just turn up on the day, check our website, and our Facebook site for further information.

"They can also contact us via email us as well if they want to participate during the week."

Rubbish: Volunteers remove dozens of bags of litter every cleaning session.

FORK was formed in 1991 to "build public awareness and commitment to the care and maintenance of the Kelvin", according to its website.

Its aims are to improve peoples’ awareness of "the natural history of the river and its environs", promote leisure use, and to carry out environmental improvements.

Lyn Dunachie, one of the Friends, said people could either join the group as a member or just come along on the day and help with the clean-up tasks.

She said: "We do need members. The subscription is very low but numbers matter.

"We are becoming a pressure group for some of the environmental things that ought to be happening in Glasgow.

"It's good to be able to say that we have so many members.

"So think about joining, but come and join in the activities - even if you don't become a FORK member."

For more information visit the group's website: http://www.fork.org.uk

Or see their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-the-River-Kelvin-170801662158/?fref=nf

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