Young Archie helps to clean River Coquet

Archie McNaughton on the banks of the River Coquet with the rubbish he and his dad collected.
Archie McNaughton on the banks of the River Coquet with the rubbish he and his dad collected.

A 10-year-old boy was inspired to carry out a litter-pick along a stretch of the River Coquet after seeing rubbish in the water.

Archie McNaughton, from Blyth, joined his father to clear debris from the water at Warkworth, using an inflatable dinghy to collect the items.

A tent, car tyre, a road sign and plastic chair were among the items that they plucked from the river.

In a blog post about the tidy-up, Archie wrote: ‘I really like canoeing on the River Coquet and I wanted to do a litter-pick because I saw that rubbish had been washing down the river. The river is quite remote and beautiful; it’s one of my favourite places.

‘The water is crystal clear and you can see little fishes darting around and deer on the banks of the river. I have also seen herons and buzzards soaring overhead, bright blue kingfishers flying close to the water and squirrels scampering through the trees. Once I even saw an otter.

‘This is why I thought of doing a litter pick to keep the environment clean for all of the wildlife and others to enjoy.

‘We wrote to the county council to tell them of the plan and they said if all the litter was left on the river bank in Warkworth they would come and collect it.

‘My dad and I took an inflatable dinghy to put the litter in and a garden rake to reach the rubbish and towed the dinghy behind the canoe. We wore wetsuits, life-jackets, cagoules and helmets.

‘During the litter-pick we found everything from a tent to a drinks can. Some of the other things we found were a car tyre, plastic bottle, plastic barrel, road sign, a Wellington boot, plastic chair and lots of other plastic and metal litter.’

Iain Robson, of the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership, said: “Although there isn’t a big litter problem in the AONB, what litter there is is unsightly and can be dangerous to wildlife so we were delighted that Archie and his dad decided to clear the litter from the river. They did a worthwhile job.”