VOLUNTEERS are calling for more helpers to pick rubbish out of a river in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic ending up in the sea.

Durham Kayak Club (DKC) is organising a clean up of the River Wear in Durham following a build up in the amount of rubbish in it.

Members will be scouring the river in canoes and kayaks and they are also calling for extra volunteers to help out from the river bank.

The club is organising the clean up, which is supported by Durham County Council, as part of British Canoeing's Cear Access, Clear Waters campaign.

Bob Walling, from DKC, said: "There's a lot of rubbish that goes into the river and it collects on the weir the Old Corn Mill. We collect a lot of rubbish in that section.

"It comes from people throwing rubbish away near the river and there's quite a lot of plastic from agricultural sources further up the river.

The Northern Echo:

"The objective of the campaign is that the paddling community will work to clear the water way and rivers and ensure we have a better environment."

The club is planning to clean the area between the two weirs in Durham and hopes to also do some work upstream towards the Racecourse section of the river

The clean up event takes place on Saturday, May 18 and volunteers are welcome to go and help by picking up rubbish along the banks and footpaths next to the river.

All equipment will be provided and people are asked to meet at DKC's club house at the Old Corn Mill, on the south bank, from 10am.

As well as improving the cleanliness of the river, the club is hoping to use the event to raise awareness about the impact of dropping litter to try and stop rubbish building up in the future.

Mr Walling added: "People are talking more about plastic in the ocean because of Blue Planet. All of the plastic that goes into rivers eventually gets into the ocean so that's something we want to raise awareness about."