Landlords of the reputedly ‘Oldest Pub in Britain’ have rolled up their sleeves and tackled the build-up of rubbish in the River Ver that has been affecting the area for years.
Martin Robinson and Sam Walker of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks had hoped that the council would take on the task of removing the rubbish that was blocking the river from flowing through the main section of Verulamium Park. Tired of waiting, they, with the support of staff and local residents, decided to confront the problem themselves.
Martin said: “In the 11 years that I have worked at the pub, the river has never flowed as it has been blocked by the rubbish that people just throw into the river.
“I have watched this section of the river become more neglected over the years and can’t understand how it has never been cleaned up, so I decided to buy an inflatable dinghy and get in the river myself and clear it.
“We spent 10 long hours cleaning up the river, we pulled out many bags of rubbish, everything from coffee cups to footballs, huge tree branches that were blocking the river flowing from the main section in the park. The smell from the river was overwhelming and we were covered in river sludge from head to toe.
Sam said: “Caring for the environment has to be at the top of every council in the country’s agenda, and as the temperatures over the last few weeks have shown us, climate change is real and we have to do everything to protect the beautiful place that we live in.”