ENVIRONMENTALISTS are set to descend on a turgid stretch of the River Stour for a community clean up.

The River Stour Clear Water Project will be clearing litter, overgrown Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed in and around the river at Furnace Hill on Sunday, January 26.

The group had to cancel two previous clean ups before Christmas due to persistent rain but all systems are go for Sunday.

Rosanne Adams, founder of the group, said: "Sadly we had to cancel two events at the end of last year as the endless rain made the river deep, turbulent and muddy.

"However I think now, whatever the weather it would be good to keep the events rolling along and for that reason the site at Furnace Hill is good as there is masses of litter which follows the river. "

She added: "For those who like a challenge the river can be reached down a steep slope and there is a shallow area which can be worked.

"Please bring strong bags for litter and cans if you can, and wear thick gloves and good footwear as we can only provide some gloves."

The group, which also clean up stretches of the river in Stourbridge, will this year also start testing samples of the river water for pollutants.

Volunteers are being asked to meet at 10.15am on Sunday at the bottom of Furnace Hill near the junction of Haden Hill Road and Dudley Road.

The group is also preparing for a busy February which includes an exhibition on the River Stour being installed in Halesowen Library.

And a screening of Message in the Waves, a film which highlights the damage plastic does to the oceans, at the United Reform Church, Queensway, on Friday, February 28 at 7.30pm.