A GROUP of volunteers from Calne Divers, Chippenham Angling Club and Chippenham Town Council will take to the littered waters of the River Avon to complete a second tidy-up.

Volunteers will be out in force, between 10am and 3pm on Saturday, diving to remove debris from the river bed and litter-picking along its banks.

The rubbish collected will then be removed by staff from Chippenham Town Council.

Those involved will focus on the area of river stretching from the town bridge to the footbridge by Monkton Park golf course.

Head of service delivery at Chippenham Town Council, Adrian Jones, was keen to repeat the initiative after the success of last year.

He said: “I have to say I was totally overwhelmed by the quantity of rubbish removed last year. It included 42 trolleys, 22 bikes, six scooters, a bus stop attached to a lamppost, 12 road cones and various other bits of debris and junk.

“We appreciate the efforts of both Calne Divers and Chippenham Angling Club and thank them for their support in helping to tidy up what is a valuable asset and landmark feature in the town.”

Volunteers from Calne Divers are also keen to work for the benefit of the town environment, according to member Jon Dodsworth.

He said: “Last year was incredibly successful, however due to the amount of debris found we didn’t get much past the main bridge, let alone complete the quarter-mile section of river we had planned. This year we hope to finish what we started.

“In order to do this, we will have 12 to 14 divers in the water with additional support staff working the banks.

“The divers are mostly qualified to dive to 50m, but in this instance they will probably get little more than 5m depth.

“However, as a group we will still breathe around 79,000 litres of compressed air during the day, using around £20,000 worth of equipment.”

The impact of the rubbish on the habitat of wildlife is a central concern for members of the angling club.

Kevin Williams, from the club, said: “Chippenham offers some of the best river fishing in the county and we all need to play our part in looking after it.”

Anyone wishing to help volunteer with the tidy-up can call Mr Jones on (01249) 446699.