EFFORTS to keep Dumbarton and the Vale litter-free have stepped up a gear after members of a brand new community group rolled up their sleeves and got to work along the banks of the Leven.

The Friends of Leven River Valley picked up rubbish along the east bank of the river near Dalreoch on Saturday, July 17 and on Sunday, July 18 the volunteers cleaned their way along Dalreoch to the A82 bridge.

The group took advantage of the lowered water levels to remove debris from the river and accompanying pathways.

The event was organised by Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association, and Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust also took part in the effort, as they aim to keep the area clean from rubbish, taking to the water with their boats to push rubbish found in the river to the shoreline.

More than 20 bags of rubbish were removed from the river bank, and various larger items such as bikes, trolleys, traffic cones, road signs and tyres were picked up by the volunteers for collection by the council.

Cula Murphy of Friends of Leven River Valley told the Reporter: “It’s a shame the litter gets like this in the first place, but you can see other groups with their litter picks and you can see a difference when you go out there and see someone else looking after it.

“There’s a clean up over on the east bank and it makes such a difference when you’re walking through these areas or cycling.

"It is a shame sometimes what gets left.

“We’ve had supplies from the council and Sustrans to help.

“We did very well. We got quite a lot out of the Leven so we might have dropped the water levels even further!

“There was an awful lot of iron stuff, tyres, it took four or five people to get one particular type up because of the weight so that took quite a joint effort.

"There were around 10 or 11 people on both days.

“There were quite a few new people so that was good, hopefully they’ll stay with us as well.”

The group will continue to be active in the area and are looking for new volunteers to join them on future litter picking events.

Search “Friends of Leven River Valley West Dumbartonshire” on Facebook for more information about the group.