Volunteers took to Southampton’s River Itchen as part of a mass paddleboard clean-up to help turn the tide on plastic in the surrounding waters.
Leader of Southampton City Council Daniel Fitzhenry joined a mix of experienced and first-time paddlers on the water to collect litter at the event, which was a joint initiative between organisers of Southampton International Boat Show, British Marine, and one of the Show’s official charity partners, Planet Patrol.
Volunteers collected a variety of rubbish and logged what they had found via an app, which analyses the litter, helping Planet Patrol better understand where it is coming from to hold brands accountable.
The paddleboard event was set up to support the Show’s pledge to make its 52nd event the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly yet. It also afforded first-timers the opportunity to get out on the water to give paddle boarding a go for the first time under expert guidance.
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine and organiser of Southampton International Boat Show joined paddlers on the Itchen. She said: “Today’s clear up with our charity partner Planet Patrol aligns with our green pledge to make this year’s show the most sustainable yet.
“It was great to get out on the water with the local community to help with the clean-up ahead of Southampton International Boat Show, which starts on 10th September. The Show aims to get as many people as we can out on the water, especially first-timers who can dip their toes in the water through many of the activities available to try on-site. This year we’ve increased our capacity for this by 30%. We hope this community initiative today was a good taster of all the fun things to come at our 52nd Show.”
Planet Patrol Founder, Lizzie Carr, said: “We saw a fantastic turn out for our latest paddle clean-up event on the River Itchen, showing just how much the Southampton community cares about their local surroundings. These local events are so important, not only do they reconnect people with nature and give them the opportunity to try water sports like paddle boarding for the first time. They also give individuals the power to take action and make a difference tackling this problem on the ground and contributing to our litter database so we can hold the big brands responsible to account.”
The event marked Leader of Southampton City Council, Daniel Fitzhenry’s first paddleboarding experience. He said: “It was a privilege to join the clean-up and be a part of the event seeing local people care so deeply about our area. Southampton International Boat Show organisers are really focussing on the environment as well as giving back to the local community, and it’s great to see this extend to their Show partners.”
For those interested in giving water sports a try who were not able to make the community clear up event, the new layout at Southampton International Boat Show includes the brand new ‘On The Water’ zone where visitors can find out more information and get kitted out for water sports. Attendees at the Show have the chance to get involved in activities such as kayaking, dinghy sailing and paddle boarding – all within the price of their ticket.
This year’s Southampton International Boat Show will also offer visitors the chance to buy some of the newest and most advanced products made from recycled and recyclable materials, and discover the latest technological advances designed to protect the environment. Attendees can get specific advice and guidance from The Green Blue stand, a joint initiative between British Marine and the RYA, highlighting sustainable and environmentally friendly products and services through its Green Blue Business Directory.
This year Southampton International Boat Show is holding Community Day on 19 September where local residents, within the SO14 to SO19 postcodes, benefit from a special offer, including FREE entry for two children under 15 per adult ticket and Senior Citizens (adults aged 66+) go FREE as well.