We litter pick on the river. We do this informally and sometimes in groups. After major events, we are particularly thorough. Sometimes the river brings down debris that constitutes a hazard and it has to be removed.
The trees lining the river and in the river do not live forever need monitoring, and at times, professional intervention. We do this to ensure the safety of our paddlers and the public. It is a shame to cut down a tree, but if it is bound to fall soon, at an unexpected moment, we might as well plan for it.
Though we have an extensive stock of kayaks and canoes (100+) we retain many old boats in favour of new replacements. We think long and hard before scrapping a boat. Much of our old stock still has plenty of life in it, and because we have so many boats, one is guaranteed to fit some paddler who might be taller, shorter or wider than the average. We aim to cater for all.
Everyone has a favourite boat, and fortunately our favourites all differ. As such we look after the diverse stock we have and it pays off. Boats are monitored and repaired as necessary and taken back to the river or pool as required.
Boats used in rocky rivers are susceptible to damage. They can crack in various places. Perhaps under the seat, or at the back where they drag against the ground or around the cockpit. We have a number of paddlers who can and do repair boats using plastic welding techniques, and these repairs can be very successful at returning a broken boat to service.
Occasionally excessive abuse, or bad boat design can render a boat beyond repair. For example, cracks around the cockpit are just too extensive to remedy. In which case we will strip the useful parts from the boat and sell them on the second hand market, and perhaps use an angle grinder to remove strips of plastic from the boat that can subsequently be used for the repair of other boats.
Our stock of boats varies over time and we have limited space. Paddlers donate boats, boat designs are superceded, and we want to retain those boats that best fit our requirements. Boats that are excess to requirements are sold on the second-hand market, and this is a good source of income for the club. Use of the second hand market for paddling gear is a great way to reduce the amount of new plastic that is created.