Annie’s art tells a rubbish tale of the Almond riverbank

Beer cans and wet wipes, plastic string and all manner of other detritus have been woven into a stunning piece of art which tells the viewer just how badly our rivers are being polluted.

Saturday, 9th March 2019, 2:41 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th March 2019, 4:27 pm

Artist Annie Lord has transformed some of the garbage extracted from the River Almond into a visual indictment of how domestic waste disposed irresponsibly can ruin the natural environment.

Unveiled yesterday at Almondell and Calderwood Country Park, Annie’s striking composition is encased in resin, and on close inspection is soon revealed to be “rubbish in disguise”.

RiverRubbish is part of the RiverLife Project - a four year plan to reconnect communities along the River Almond and River Avon with their rivers.

The first project of its kind in Scotland, RiverLife has begun to transform the River Avon and the River Almond through a mixture of large scale capital projects and smaller scale works.

Community engagement is already said to have had a huge impact in conservation of the rivers and widening access to the public.

Tree planting, river bank restoration and riverside furniture repair work has been delivered by a mixture of professional contractors and enthusiastic volunteers.

Members of local angling groups and the Friends of the Country Park collected an astonishing 1,384 items from just 100 meters of river bank during the project.

The vast majority of collected items were wet wipes and sanitary products that people mistakenly thought were flushable - but which came out of the sewage as overflow.

This happens when water levels rise and water treatment plants don’t have the capacity to process residential and industrial sewage resulting in the excess being directed into our rivers.

Annie said: “Like many people I was completely unaware of the extent to which rivers are being filled with wet wipes and other rubbish.

“Seeing the volume collected in such a small area really brought the message home.

“We used some of the ‘best’ items to draw awareness to the fact that what people mistakenly flush they can meet again later on their walk.”

Lead partner in the Riverlife project) Alison Baker said: “RiverRubbish perfectly encapsulates the challenges and opportunities we have with our rivers.

“While the levels of rubbish seen in the River Almond can be disheartening, and symptomatic of the wider issues of waste management, the willingness, commitment and care shown by local communities points the way forward for creating a new relationship with our rivers.

“Annie Lord’s work on this project is an important step in this process and I’m delighted with how her work and approach has captured the interest and imagination of local community members along this stretch of the River Almond.”

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