NATURE lovers are calling for a helping hand — or several — this weekend in attempting to restore a flood-ravaged beauty spot back to full health.
The flood waters may have receded long ago but the debris and grime deposited at Kilnhurst Ings will take some time to shift.
Residents who regularly go for walks on the site have made a start, piling up tyres washed out of the River Don and filling bags with rubbish.
Ann License (pictured), of Celandine Rise, said: “We go down there every day walking and there a lot of other people walking with their dogs or families.
“We’ve been picking up rubbish over Christmas and the new year but there are some things like tyres we can’t take away to be recycled.
“It’s all come from the river. There are sanitary towels, toilet roll...it’s disgusting.
“Water from the river has been left standing there and it’s smelly and stagnant - it’s just awful.”
The clean-up will be stepped up this Sunday as Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, supported by the Environment Agency, leads a volunteer day at the site from 10am to 3pm.
A spokeswoman said: “Kilnhurst Ings played an important role in holding back flood water, as it is designed to do, to help reduce further flooding downstream, but the downside to this is observing the site in its current state following such a major incident with large debris, tyres, silt and litter deposited across the site.
“We invite local residents to come and help us clean up the site — people can join us for a full day or a couple of hours but all help will be greatly appreciated.
The Environment Agency, which overseas waterways, said it was “working hard” to restore all its 33 reservoir sites in the River Don Catchment, as well as flood defence assets such as embankments, outfalls and sluices”.