A DEDICATED band of volunteers working to clear up the River Stour say the amount of rubbish pulled from the polluted waterway over the last seven years would fill a football field.

Transition Stourbridge's River Stour Project has seen volunteers getting their hands wet once a month to help tidy up the river between Cradley and Bells Mill - and they estimate they have collected around 400 tyres, at least 200 shopping trolleys plus a host of plastic bottles, sweet and crisp wrappers, bin bags, traffic cones, gas cylinders, small pieces of furniture, mattresses plus household and garden waste over the years.

Project leader Roseanne Adams said: "We have a really great team of enthusiastic volunteers who would love to see a healthy river with a high status flowing out to sea.

"We all feel concerned about the rubbish, plastic and chemicals which make their way into the oceans and seas which are beginning to have a drastic effect on wildlife and ocean ecology."

But she added: "There is far more to do than we can cope with."

The group's most recent outing saw a 16-strong team of volunteers concentrating on clearing the Stourbridge side of the river that flows underneath Birmingham Street viaduct.

Roseanne added: "The status of the river is classed as poor in this area owing to misconnected washing machines, factory run-off into the river, car washes etc."

She estimates the amount of rubbish pulled from the waterway, known as the 'lost river', over the past seven years "would cover a football field" and she is urging individuals and businesses to do their bit and "stop trashing the planet, the country and our river".

She said: "Private owners of the land bordering the river seem to have little idea that they have riparian responsibility for the river up to its mid point and factories and individuals do not seem to realise the effects of careless disposal of rubbish and pollution on the health of the river and wildlife."

To find out more about the group and how to join in with the clean-up efforts check out Transition Stourbridge or the River Stour Clear Water Project on Facebook.