The Anti Pollution Alliance held another event in Calstock this weekend as part of their ‘Dirty Water’ campaign. 

On March 18, the Anti Pollution Alliance opened the ‘Happy Poo Cafe’ in Calstock Village Hall as a part of their ‘Dirty Water’ campaign. This campaign has seen tea ladies handing out special brews to highlight the state of the water quality in the River Tamar and its tributaries. 

The opening of the Happy Poo Cafe saw around 50 visitors indulge in the ‘dishwater delights and faecal frights’ served by the Tamar Valley ‘Toxicitea’ ladies. 

After tea was served, there was music and singing from members of the pollution group who performed ‘we’ve all had enough of dirty water’. 

This was followed by a talk from Alastair Tinto, Calstock Parish Council, who discussed the problems that the Parish Council have had with South West Water including the use of combined sewage overflow systems. 

Alister said: “The more people protest, the more people write to their MP, the more people write to their newspapers, the more they take part in things like this, the more drip drip drip, the more we might finally get safe water in the Tamar.” 

Next up was a humorous skit performed by the tea ladies who highlighted the toxins that are in the river Tamar by serving a selection of brews from their menu including ‘Sewage mochas’ and ‘turd toddys’ of which the cafe inspector was not too happy about the lack of ‘pooiness’ in his River Tamar tea.

Dr Rebecca Pearce an Environmental Scientist who specialises in drought and extreme weather in the UK, then spoke about the affects of droughts and how we can change our lifestyles to help reduce pollutants in the rivers.

“The main thing is for you to think very carefully not to waste anything that ends up in a water course ultimately. Don’t take things that you don’t need to take, don’t throw things away that you don’t need to throw and start loving water and appreciating every little drop” Rebecca explained.

Afterwards a poem written by Lizzy Lister was read out to the crowd called ‘territory for beavers’.

This was followed by a talk by Chris Jones from the Beavers Trust who explained what solution beavers can offer to our river problems.

The musical group then performed ‘yo ho little fishy’.

Fourth to speak was Dr Laurence Couldrick from the West Country Rivers Trust who discussed the affect pollution is having on aquatic life, the different types of pollutants that are affecting the rivers and highlighted what we can do to help reduce pollutants.

Laurence said: “The rivers are the life blood of our communities, and here no more than most places and just like our own blood it tells you a lot about the health of ourselves and what we’ve done as a society is we’ve taken the heartbeat from our river and the prognosis is not great”

Lastly, a poem written by Ted Hughes was read aloud.

Just before everyone helped themselves to tea and cake, a gig rowed up the Tamar towards the viaduct with a ‘stop the poo-llution’ banner for all too see.

The gig which rowed up the River Tamar with a 'stop the poo-llution' banner
The gig which rowed up the River Tamar with a 'stop the poo-llution' banner ( )

On April 21 there is an Extinction Rebellion event called ‘The Big One’ which will take place outside the Houses of Parliament.