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Wincanton friends launch project to clean up River Cale

By WG_JTaylor  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

River Cale

AMBITIOUS PLAN: Friends Matt Bishop and Gary Hunt are launching a project to clear up the River Cale in Wincanton on Sunday alongside youngsters, from left, James, 5, Evie, 10, and George, 7

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An ambitious plan to restore the River Cale to its former glory is being launched.

The river, running through Wincanton, has fallen victim to pollution, maltreatment and litter in the past few years.

Fed up of the sorry sight, a group of volunteers has pledged to clean the river – with a view to eventually restocking it with fish.

Neighbours Matt Bishop and Gary Hunt, of Greenway Close, will launch the project with a public litter pick on Sunday.

Mr Bishop said: "I am ashamed to see the state of the river now.

"We thought it couldn't just be us that were concerned about it and, after contacting the Environment Agency and Wincanton Town Council, we have received a lot of support."

The team will meet at Gillam's Car Spares, off Bennetts Field Trading Estate, at 9.30am on Sunday to carry out the first stage of the project.

After completing a thorough clear-up of the river and its banks, volunteers will reconvene at The Nog Inn.

Prizes will be on offer for feats including 'most unusual object found in the river' and 'most bin bags filled'.

Once the river is clear of rubbish, the team eventually hopes to carry out minor tree surgery, build weirs, and create fish spawning areas.

In conjunction with the Wild Trout Trust, it is also hoped nymph-hatching projects will be staged in both of the town's primary schools.

Mr Hunt said: "I've lived in Wincanton since 1978 and, as a lad, I used to fish in the river.

"It saddens me to see the state of the river now – I want to give children the chance to enjoy it like I did."

Clerk Sam Atherton said Wincanton Town Council is fully behind the clean-up project.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact mattandgary@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

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