Preventing Plastic Pollution in the Rother

Love Our Rother

This is a free event open to anyone who would like to drop in and find out more about this project or to take part in any of the other activities on offer. You can find out more here.

Next events

Discovery Centre, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on Sunday 29th January. We will start with a litter pick of the salt marsh along the river bank at 10am, return for refreshments and a presentation looking at the plastic pollution problem, followed by the identification, sorting and recording of the litter to add to the understanding of environmental plastic pollution in the River Rother catchment.
To take part, please register at

The Almonry, High Street, Battle on Monday 6th February. This Battle presentation will explain the many sources of plastic pollution, its exponential growth, and its connection with climate change and biodiversity loss. Combined with local knowledge, we can add value to our litter picking efforts. No need to register – come along and join the discussion.

The Project

Strandliners is excited to be delivering a ‘Preventing Plastic Pollution’ project in the Rother, supported by The Rivers Trust, Sea-Changers, Rother District Council and local donors. This project is the first of its kind in the UK, recording environmental plastic pollution across river catchments. We are looking for litter picking groups and concerned residents near the River Rother or any of its tributaries.

Anyone fed up with plastic pollution near local waterways can join in the following ways: 
Talks – come and discuss the environmental plastic pollution and the importance of recording.
Litter picks – join a litter pick and clear an area for the benefit of wildlife and conservation.
Surveys – become a forensic citizen scientist, add your discoveries to a catchment-wide database. 

If you see litter near waterways, we would love to hear from you. We would love to set up more events and can offer free community presentations.


60% to 80% of coastal plastic pollution has inland sources and rivers are a major pathway. If all plastic waste in the environment is picked, bagged and binned, little proactive mitigation is possible, whereas if the plastic pollution is identified and recorded, reduction strategies can be planned at local and national scales. 

What have we done so far?

Our first event was a presentation, followed by a litter pick and survey at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, on Friday 18th November.

Presentations and discussions were also arranged for the following dates:
Northiam Village Hall, Thursday 24th November
Etchingham Village Hall, Friday 25th November
Robertsbridge Village Hall, Monday 28th November
Brede Village Hall, Wednesday 30th November

Andy Dinsdale says, “The more we record what the pollution is, the better chance we have of reducing it at source. Effectively we are creating a data-rich picture of environmental plastic pollution around us. Amazingly, the work is fun and addictive, as well as adding a climate change perspective to everyone’s litter picking.”Look out for an event near you between now and March.

If you are able to complete our short survey (link below) we will be able to tailor the our litter-picking and survey events to your experiences of visiting or living in the Rother catchment. The survey should take no more than five minutes and can be found here.

These new projects, in partnership with the Rivers Trust, are part of many throughout the south of England and the north of France and will be an important indicator of how polluted the river catchments are, enabling all stakeholders to reduce plastic pollution entering our waterways.

What have we found so far?

Here is a short summary of the plastic data so far from the Advanced Litter Count surveys:

We have also carried out brand audits at each of the sites, looking at the most polluting brands, the categories of the litter collected and the plastic polymers. You can see a summary of the categories found below:

Strandliners is also taking part in a project with the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust. Click here to see our Ouse & Adur page and find out what people thought about the project. If you litter pick near the Ouse & Adur rivers, you will also find the dates of our events.