Reading RESCUE

The River & Environmental Spaces Clean Up Event is a chance to look after our green and blue spaces through the simple act of litter picking!

Reading RESCUE (Rivers & Environmental Spaces Clean Up Event) is bi-annual in Spring and Autumn. Volunteers from member organisations – along with other local community groups – can participate in these litter picks.

Originally starting in 1989 as a volunteer-led clean-up, boaters and fishermen began removing rubbish from the River Thames. As the event grew, organisers needed additional help to remove the growing quantity of rubbish. Contacting the Local Authorities and Environment Agency, they grew their positive impact on Reading’s waterways. At times it involved approximately 500 volunteers removing rubbish from the Kennet & Avon Canal and River Thames, annually removing c.8 tonnes of litter! Key individuals from the river community moved away from Reading in the 2000s, meaning the organisation was left to the council and other local volunteers.

Connect Reading stepped in to manage the event, now encompassing other green spaces beyond just waterways. Thames Water part-sponsor Connect Reading to manage the event, working with community groups and other key organisations … and that it has a positive impact on our local environment!