An environmentally-minded 11-year-old girl has masterminded a volunteer clean-up plan to tidy Lynn’s dirty rivers.
Elizabeth Cumbley wants to see groups of volunteers clean up the town’s smaller rivers and streams, and has written to her local councillor, Andy Tyler, to help put her plan into action.
And she believes Lynn could become as famous for its tidy rivers and eco-friendliness, as it is for its history and docks, if her idea becomes a reality.
The pupil at Lynn’s Greyfriars Primary School was inspired to come up with her River Clean-Up Plan (RCUP) after getting upset at the amount of rubbish dumped in the smaller waterways around the town.
She said: “Every morning I walk to school past the river in The Walks and it bothers me to see the litter in it.
“The river sometimes looks black or brown. I would love to finally see the river looking its best and the park being an eco-friendly area.
“I have also seen other rivers in Lynn, such as in Gaywood and Fairstead and at Lynnsport, and they look the same.”
Elizabeth, of Silfield Terrace, Lynn, wants to see volunteers visit the rivers two to three times a week, armed with nets, litter pickers and bin bags to remove “icky stuff” such as cans, plastic bags, crisp packets and footballs, and even clogged up weeds.
She said: “I personally think if we carry out this plan Lynn won’t only be known for its famous history, its old docks and historical buildings, but will also be known for its tidy rivers and eco-friendliness,” she said.
“We will probably be visited by many people who wouldn’t mind coming again.”
Her mother, Jemma Mindham, said Elizabeth had grown up being aware of volunteering because of her work with the Community Service Volunteers (CSV) charity, but said the river plan was all her daughter’s own idea. She said: “She wrote the letter herself and up until that point I had no idea that she’d even been feeling this way. I was gobsmacked when I read the letter. I’m so proud.”
Mr Tyler, councillor for Lynn North Ward, said West Norfolk Council’s newly-formed Lynn Area Committee, of which he is chairman, had been exploring the use of volunteering to help clean-up open spaces in Lynn when he received Elizabeth’s letter.
“I was absolutely delighted and really pleased to receive the letter from a young person who is obviously concerned about the environment, and the committee is really keen to find out more.”
Elizabeth and her parents have now been invited to the committee’s next meeting on Tuesday, March 11.