SEAN ATKINSON is absolutely right to deplore the amount of rubbish in the River Foss and the careless, selfish attitudes that put it there (Letters, September 11).

The route of Sean’s regular walk from Hungate Bridge to Layerthorpe looks particularly bad at this time of year because litter often gets caught in the water weed and lilies.

And it’s not just rubbish dumped in the river that’s the problem: litter dropped anywhere nearby easily gets blown into the water, and once there, it stays there.

Fortunately, despite the blight of litter, the River Foss and its wildlife remain in pretty good health.

The main threats to wildlife come in fact not from visible litter, but from invisible pollutants such as nitrates and phosphates in the water.

Even so, just like Sean, the River Foss Society would like City of York Council to devote more resources to cleaning up the river.

But we know that cuts to council funding and competing spending priorities make this hard to do.

So our members do their bit by organising litter picks three times a year, both along the river banks and (with help from council staff) on the water.

Our next litter pick is due on Saturday, October 14, when Sean and indeed any of your readers are welcome to join us.

Time and venue have not yet been finalised, but will be given closer to the date on our website,, where details of all our other activities, together with news and comment about the Foss, are also available.

Mark Gladwin, River Foss Society, Huntington Road, York