Clean river litter-pickers to stop in Milton Keynes during countrywide endurance challenge

These campaigners will stop by in Milton Keynes during their arduous trek across the country.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 9:56 am

Patrick Godden and Jack Hanson will stop overnight in Milton Keynes on Monday May 24, during their fundraising walk from Yorkshire to London for Clean River Campaigns, next week.

The two 27-year-old campaigners' pit stop in Milton Keynes, will represent completion of day eight of their 10-day challenge. In total, the men hope to walk 200 miles across the UK's rivers picking up litter and raising money for their chosen clean river charity along the way.

Currently, on the fifth day of their journey the determined litter-pickers are trekking across the River Trent, as they remain on track to complete their mission by arriving at Westminster on Wednesday.

Jack Hanson (left), Patrick Godden (right) and MP Robbie Moore

Their local river - the Wharfe at Ilkley in West Yorkshire, is the inspiration for this endurance challenge. The pair want to raise funds and awareness to improve the environment around this river and many others that are mistreated in the UK. Patrick explained: "Like most rivers in the UK, it is heavily polluted.

"Not just with litter but by the raw sewage discharged by treatment plants. As local lads who grew up with the Wharfe as a backdrop to so many good times, when we realised the extent of

the problem we knew we had to get involved."

The Wharfe at Ilkley in West Yorkshire - was the first river in Britain to be given Bathing Water Status and attracts wild swimmers and many families to paddle, play and swim. Previously, the pair walked the length of that river collecting hundreds of kilos of litter from river banks and raising thousands for charity in the process.

That money helped fund independent testing of river water.

Buoyed by that success, the men wanted to do something with a similar ethos, but on a bigger scale. Jack added: "The Wharfe isn’t the only UK river suffering from these issues.

"Having walked the 65 mile length of the Wharfe, we wanted to raise awareness across the country, so we’ve made a 200-mile walk to London via rivers like the Ouse, Trent, Nene and Thames, and lakes and reservoirs like Rutland Water, collecting waste as we go."

Their journey will end on Wednesday 26 May at the Houses of Parliament, where environment minister Rebecca Pow and their local MP, Robbie Moore, will welcome them. Moore commented: "Paddy and Jack are very determined people who want to make a positive change to both the local community and nationwide. Cleaning up our waterways is vital to preserving the biodiversity of our streams and rivers.

"Paddy and Jack are undertaking a monumental task walking 200 miles to London – on top of the 65 mile walk along the Wharfe which they did earlier this month. I look forward to welcoming them."

A Facebook and Twitter account have been set up providing updates on how Patrick and Jack are getting on, both pages can be found @WharfeWalkers. The fundraising page is available here, at the time of writing the walkers have £3,255 raised for the Ilkey Clean River Campaign.