Tonnes of junk including three shopping trolleys, four car tyres and a motorbike pulled out of Clitheroe brook

Two volunteers launched an heroic three-hour effort on Saturday to clear a staggering amount of rubbish from Mearley Brook.

Ten traffic cones, four car tyres, three shopping trolleys, three chairs, two traffic barriers, two bikes, two garden hoses, two garage doors, one motorbike, one scooter, one play tube, one massive corrugated plastic, plastic bags and polythene wrap were among the items dragged out of the brook.

Other bizarre items cleared included a National Lottery sign, two dildos and a go kart!

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Adam Walmsley, a project manager for the Ribble Rivers Trust, explained: "It took three hours on Saturday morning to clear that rubbish from the brook. which was a heroic effort. However hundreds of volunteer hours have already gone into cleaning up the Primrose Nature Reserve in preparation for its opening in December, and there is still much more to collect. Every time there is heavy rain the brook brings more rubbish into the reserve.

Habitats officer for Ribble Rivers Trust Ryan Harrison-Reader (left) with clean-up volunteers Peter and Wayne

"Plastic pollution isn’t just a problem in the oceans, it affects our parks, rivers and countryside too, endangering wildlife much closer to home. We can all do our bit to reduce plastic pollution by avoiding single-use where possible and by putting pressure on government and companies to change too. Clean-ups like this aren’t a solution, we need to tackle the problem at source.

He added: "Primrose Nature Reserve will be a fantastic asset for the community in Clitheroe – time spent in nature, particularly in woodland and by water, has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental health. Before we started work on turning this former mill lodge into a nature reserve, it was a real grot spot, with many decades of accumulated rubbish.

"This clean up will help make the space more beautiful and encourage people to visit and look after the reserve. It will also benefit all the wildlife which lives in the brook, including several species of fish, teal, kingfishers and occasionally otters."

Primrose Nature Reserve is due to open to the public very soon. There are many ways volunteers can help look after the reserve, such as planting trees and hedges, building bat boxes and clearing invasive species. To find out more and register for volunteering opportunities, visit www.primrosecommunitynaturetrust.org