PARTIAL draining of the Mersey between Woolston and Howley Weirs has exposed shocking levels of flytipping and destruction to the river's ecology.

Peel Ports began draining the river last week for repair works to Howley Weir.

Vandals had badly damaged the roof of the building, causing chunks of coping to block the tipping gates.

Paul Connor, who runs the blog Our Environment, is a coach at Warrington Rowing Club and a software engineer.

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He recently developed a passion for ecology and the environment, rekindling a childhood passion for wildlife.

The Lymm resident launched his blog to showcase the damage caused by litter and flytipping across Warrington.

His photos, along with fellow environment enthusiast Chris Digata's footage, show an alarming amount of rubbish dumped in the water, including four picnic benches with attached seating, shopping trolleys and a car door.

Paul said: "This vandalism has also caused an increased risk of bank-collapse and to the river’s ecology.

"If the image of the fast-food bench simply dumped into the river isn’t unbelievable enough, there are three similar benches dumped just upstream.

"They are on the side of the river next to the Wharf Industrial Estate.

"The river is vulnerable to bank-collapse – both human-impacting as has been observed in the past, and wildlife-impacting including the risk of collapse of water-vole burrows – both due to both the drying out, and lack of support by the pressure of the water.

"In recent weeks I have become aware of a wide range of community groups and organisations who work directly with furthering the preservation of and the town’s appreciation for these wonderful riverside spaces.

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"I passionately hope that together we can help the town appreciate how lucky we all are, and perhaps that new-found love of our environment will help reduce vandalism, littering and fly-tipping – as well as bring even more people forward to help organise and take part in litter-picks and other community-led projects."