Teignbridge Canoe Club ditched their boats for bin bags on Easter Saturday as they set about litter picking along the river Dart from Dartmeet to Staverton.

Organiser Mike Evans said: ‘So many of us have enjoyed stunning trips down the river, we wanted to help in a small way to keep it looking so pristine.

‘We targeted the car parks, lay-bys and riverbank regularly used by canoeists and kayakers as well as other users.’

Paddlers started scooping at Staverton Railway car park and then split into litter-picking groups to target Dartmeet Bridge and Newbridge car parks and lay-bys at Holne Bridge and Salmon Steps.

They filled 15 bags of litter and were glad to be wearing rubber gloves as they picked up all kinds of rubbish including many dog poo bags, tins of paint, plastic plant pots, used tissues, crisp packets and even discarded clothing.

The prize for collecting the largest item went to new member Mark Hazelden, who lugged along a traffic cone.

Club Chair Tony Smith said that this was part of a programme of activity that Teignbridge Canoe Club have organised for their members.

‘We support British Canoeing’s Clear Access Clear Waters Campaign,’ he said.

The club is based at the Jubilee Shelter, Eastcliff Walk, Teignmouth, TQ14 8TA (Below the Teign Corinthian Yacht Club), Teignbridge Canoe Club

To find out more visit their website www.teigncanoe.org.uk

Next month they will be heading to Pudcombe Cove, near Dartmouth, to clear beach litter, important because of the abundant wildlife in that area.

Teignbridge Canoe Club has an active programme to suit all paddlers from beginners to advanced and during the summer months meet every Wednesday evening at their clubhouse on the seafront at Teignmouth.

Taster sessions for anyone who would like to give it a go begin on 11 May, visit www.teigncanoe.org.uk for more details.