Saudi Students Spruce Up Tyne

Posted: Tuesday 5th April 2011
Blog: News

12th July 2009

A touch of the Middle East came to Tyneside when volunteers from Newcastle University’s summer school descended onto the river banks to clean the river.


The student volunteers, from Saudi Arabia joined workers from Gateshead Council’s Development Control Team and descended onto a stretch of river underneath Scotswood Bridge in the latest in a series of river bank raids as part of the Clean Tyne Project. The project is a partnership between the Port of Tyne, SITA Trust and the river’s bordering council authorities of Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Newcastle. The project aims to clean up the river and raise public awareness of environmental issues.


Photo shows – Saudi Students on board Clearwater


The Saudi volunteers were all taking part in a summer school hosted by Newcastle University and sponsored by Saudi Aramco, a petroleum company where it hoped that the volunteers will become future leaders in the oil industry. The students enjoyed collecting more than half a ton of plastic, shopping trolleys and cycles from the picturesque river bank, however it was the vast amount of driftwood that rendered the event a huge success.


More than 90% of all the timber that is taken from the river is recycled and by the end of the year it is anticipated that everything removed from the river will be recycled including metals and plastics.

Kevin James, Director of the North Leadership Centre at Newcastle University was pleased that the students had enjoyed the day. “This was an ideal opportunity for the students to experience a worthwhile piece of community work at the same time as making a real difference to this lovely part of the river. It also gives them an important environmental experience to take back to the oil industry.”

Since the project began its River Bank Raids in 2004, more than 30 organisations have taken part and collected around 40 tons of debris from the riverbank. Unusual items removed from the river have included a horse’s skull, shotgun cartridges and a safe.

Organisations and companies who wish to take part in future events should contact Keith Newman on 07814 397951.

Photo shows  -     The volunteers from Gateshead Council and Saudi Arabia

Keith Newman  07917 621353