A BIG-HEARTED paddleboarding club is organising monthly river litter picks in a bid to clean up the area’s waterways.

The Paddle Company, which is based at the Henny Swan pub in Henny Street, usually rents out paddleboards so people can enjoy the River Stour.

But now it is launching a free new experience to get paddleboarders out litter picking.

The business, which was formed in late 2019, is inviting residents to take to water and help clear up litter.

Boss Richard Jiggins, 44, wants to protect the wildlife on the Stour.

With help from trainee instructors Simon Edney and Jordan Snaith, he hopes to eventually clean up the river.

Richard, from Colne Engaine, said: “I see all the litter on the roads and the countryside when out walking and driving.

“I wanted to help tidy the area up. Plus, I use the river on a daily basis and so wanted to clean it up, help save the environment and the wildlife that lives in it.

“We find beer bottles, plastic bottles and cans. Luckily there is not loads at the moment, but it’s enough to be concerned.

“I plan to do the River Stour from Sudbury to Cattawade and then potentially other rivers and river banks.”

Although the paddleboarding experience usually costs money, the once-a-month clean-up is free to attend and usually lasts around two hours.

The business has remained open during the pandemic, with social distancing and all the equipment being regularly cleaned.

Simon, from Halstead, added: “The first evening is going to be on Sunday, May 12 between 5pm and 7pm. We have noticed the amount of litter on the river is on the increase.

“As you can imagine, we get to see a wide range of wildlife and litter obviously has an impact on it, plus it’s not good for the environment so we decided to set up a monthly litter pick to try and make a difference.”