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  • Ross Sibbit

Single Spey River Clean

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

The River Spey was looking spick and span after a big community clean up organised by GreenTweed Eco. It is hoped that the litter pick along the famous river will become a biannual event.


The Spey Damn on the glorious River Spey as GreenTweed Eco began their river clean.
The Spey Damn on the glorious River Spey

Over one dreicch October weekend, the ‘Single Spey River Clean’ proved an outstanding success with 137 volunteers collecting more than 100 bags full of rubbish along the course of the river.

Main organiser, GreenTweed Eco’s Tom Rawson said: “It’s clear that the littering of one of Scotland’s most beautiful waterways is not simply going to stop.”

The Borders teacher said: “I have always wanted to run a river clean on the River Spey having gone to school near the river mouth on the Moray Firth. I was absolutely blown away by the response of communities along the length of the river."

"We had nearly a dozen towns and villages from source to sea pulling together to tackle a common problem; plastic pollution.”


Mr Rawson was particularly pleased by the willingness of organisations to get involved including the Spey Fishery Board, RSPB, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park, Highland Council, Kingussie High School, the Scottish Canoeing Association and local businesses like Spirit of the Spey, Abernethy Trust, Loch Insh Watersports Centre.

Dave Craig, owner of Newtonmore based canoe touring business Spirit of the Spey was one of the local organisers who answered Mr Rawson’s call.


Mr Craig said: “With around 140 people involved, from Spey Dam to the Moray Firth it really was a great effort, particularly given the poor weather. The craic was great.”

Aviemore-based Jerry Craig, joint Scottish Canoe Association River Spey advisor, covered the Badenoch section with 35 folk turning out.

He said: “We had 11 out on the water and the rest litterpicking along the banks. But there is still more litter to go for another day and we hope to make this a regular event. There was a lot of plastic sadly.” Among the ‘treasures’ found in the river was a Laggan Walks signboard, a rusty old bike and animal feed boxes.

Some of the debris picked from the river during the GreenTweed Eco Single Spey River Clean
Just a flavour of what was removed from the River Spey.

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