Litter pickers patrolling the waters around Colchester fished out dozens of bags of litter from the depths – including three road signs.

A group of like-minded volunteers have come together to mark a national clean-up campaign by clearing litter from the River Colne.

Organizer Bruce Langley, of the Wivenhoe Rivercare group, said the volunteers were using canoes and kayaks to patrol the waters around Hythe.

He said: “We started the Wivenhoe Sailing Club with five other volunteers with a canoe and four kayaks.

“We removed the litter from the river and the bank, paddling towards the Hythe.

‘At the same time the Colchester Canoe Club was launched from King Edward Quay in Hythe and cleared the waste towards East Gates.’

The Wivenhoe Society carried out a litter pick-up along the riverbank while Sea Cadets from Colchester patrolled the banks around the Hythe.

Mr Langley said: “Between us we removed around 30 bags of litter, three traffic signs, cones and an old wooden shield.

“It was a great community event to mark our participation in the Great British Spring Clean.

“Many thanks to the Wivenhoe Society and the Dunmow Waste Group who donated the use of the dumpster.”

The cleanup took place to mark Keep Britain Tidy’s national Great British Spring Clean campaign.

Back for its seventh year, the Great British Spring Clean 2022 runs until Sunday.

The first National Spring Clean Day in the UK was in 1989, with the Keep Britain Tidy charity bringing in children’s entertainment characters, the Wombles.

According to the charity’s research, two million people took part in the litter clean-up event that year.

Since then, on an annual basis, parks, sidewalks and public spaces have benefited from the initiative.