Many thanks to those who went out in the heat on Sunday 11 June to collect litter from the river and bank as part of the "Big Paddle Clean Up" - a nationwide two-week effort by groups across the country as part of the "Clear Access Clear Waters" campaign
Six members collect litter by boat while another four combed the towpaths for litter, mainly between Southmill and Twyford locks.
By the end of the session we felt confident that everything that could possibly be collected had been removed.
The good news is that the total amount collected was not huge - possibly two full bin-bags worth if it was all put together - and roughly half of that came from the land.
Just a few years ago, the same stretch of river typically yielded at least 3 bags of rubbish every month from the river alone.
The reduction in the amount of litter is almost certainly as a result of fortnightly litter picking that takes place by the SOS (Save our Stort) group.
By removing the litter at source (the town centre), they are not only making the river cleaner and healthier in Bishops Stortford but are directly affecting the river all the way down to the next town and beyond.
The current lack of rubbish on the upper Stort is a testament to the wide-reaching effectiveness of regular and sustained litter picking.
Save Our Stort are a voluntary group who meet every fortnight to help keep the river clean, usually at 11.30am on the towpath near the Rose and Crown. See their FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/saveourstort