Leicester City Council, Leicester College and environmental charity the Trent Rivers Trust have teamed up on a project to make sure children know how important it is to prevent brooks, streams
and rivers from becoming blocked with waste.

PICS-435-BWalsh-pics-001-016791

Learners on the BTEC Diploma course in performing arts have created a performance
called ‘The Riverbank’, as part of their Theatre in Education course module.

The performance follows the story of a little girl called Willow and her imaginary friend Otter as they help The Scientist find his formula to clean the river and stop the Bad Guys from filling it with litter.

Cllr Adam Clarke, assistant city mayor responsible for energy and sustainability, said: “We need to
spread the message that throwing rubbish into the water is unacceptable. It’s unsightly, it harms
wildlife and it can also contribute to flooding.

“Working with the Leicester College students, we’ve come up with an innovative and memorable
way of getting this message across to schoolchildren. The idea is that children will then take this
message home and share it with their families. We’ll also be producing a flier that they can take
home to prompt discussion.”

PICS-435-BWalsh-pics-001-016792

Leicester College student Joseph Carr, who is in the performance, said: “We went out to help the
riverside rangers clean the river and we found that people throw anything in – from a small can to
pieces of cars. I think that our show will really help get the message out that we need to protect our waterways.”

Felicity Roos from the Trent Rivers Trust said: “Litter in our waterways is a major problem,
particularly in urban areas, where it is an eyesore, creates water quality issues and can increase the risk of flooding. Community engagement is an important part of Trent Rivers Trust’s work and we hope that novel outreach programs, like this play, will engage a broader section of the community than traditional workshops and volunteering days.”

Dave Newborough from the Environment Agency said: “Unfortunately, people do dump rubbish in
brooks and streams. The litter is carried on the water throughout Leicester, including into parks,
causing blockages, increasing flood risk and harming wildlife – it’s incredibly difficult and costly to
clean up. And it really affects the look and feel of an area, as well as people’s health and wellbeing.

“It’s sometimes an educational problem. We hope that reaching out to children at a young age, in an entertaining and engaging way, will go a long way to dealing with the issue – and developing a sense of pride in our natural environment.”

Six performances will be delivered to five city primary schools from February 20-24, meaning up to 1,000 children will get to the see the production.

For course details see: https://leicestercollege.ac.uk/courses/?subject_area=165