HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition set up by a young eco-warrior demanding action to clean up the River Colne.

Noah Wilkinson, 12, has spent the past year running a campaign calling for Colchester Council to step up its efforts to improve the state of the river.

Algae has invaded the river for the third summer in a row and despite ongoing measures to tackle the problem, strong winds and water abstraction have slowed movement downstream.

Noah, a pupil at Colchester High School, started the Clean the River Colne campaign last year.

Since then he has been spreading awareness, creating videos and met with Colchester MP Will Quince.

He said: “I am pleased how the campaign has progressed and 560 people have taken the time to sign the petition, with many more visiting and seeing the different posts on social media.

“I am happy the issues with the river have been discussed by Colchester Council on a number of occasions, with councillor Martin Goss advising the council have signed of a strategy for the river.

“It was good when workmen spent a number of days clearing the fallen trees and banks in March, although it was sad this did not cover all the river.”

The town’s park rangers have started conducting regular checks between East Bay and the old lido at the Colne Bank roundabout to monitor the growth and spread of the invasive plant.

At least once a week rangers will open the weir gate at Middle Mill to flush the weed downstream and into the tidal stretch of the Colne.

Read more >>> Efforts stepped up in bid to tackle algae growth on River Colne​

Noah added: “I am pleased some action has been taken, but the river is looking bad again and it would be good if a lot more of the action could take place.”

Dad Simon said: “During the Covid lockdown, many more people have started to use the river for kayaking and paddle boarding.

“However, as the build up of the algae has started, this has almost stopped.

“This is a shame given there is attention at Government level to open up the use of waterways.

“I am pleased with what Noah has achieved in helping raise this important point and the action so far.”

To sign the petition, click here.