On Sunday 21 April, a group of 10 students from Eton College and Holyport completed a half marathon through Eton, Windsor and Maidenhead to raise money for a charity called Sungai Watch.

Sungai Watch is an environmental charity whose aim is to prevent as much plastic as possible from entering our precious oceans. The charity was established in 2020 and are based in Bali, Indonesia. They work to tackle plastic pollution using simple barriers which trap and collect waste flowing in oceans and rivers. These barriers carry out a collection, sorting and up-cycling system – a scalable approach to tackling plastic pollution – allowing Sungai Watch to pursue their mission to install 1,000 barriers throughout Indonesia’s most polluted rivers and expand internationally. Our aim was to raise enough money to allow Sungai Watch to install one of these barriers at the cost of $6,000 (c. £4,800).

Our team, which also included the coastline runner Luke Douglas-Home, started the day at the Windsor-Eton bridge and set off towards Dorney and Maidenhead walking by the river Thames. The weather was kind, meaning we could all enjoy a very scenic walk through the many blossoming meadows whilst keeping a beady eye out for any litter. We stopped for a brief picnic lunch in Maidenhead before completing the second half of our journey through the remainder of Maidenhead and Slough. We arrived back at the Windsor-Eton bridge at the precise moment that the chapel clock chimed 4:30pm.

The litter pick itself had been a five-hour long adventure which had yielded thirteen kilograms of rubbish. We were met at the finish line by supporters, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Windsor, individuals from Grundon, who manage Eton’s waste and recycling. There were truly delighted by the sheer scale of the litter pick.

It is the first time that Eton’s Environmental Action Team have undergone such an exciting fundraiser. Owing to the scale of its success, the plan is to make this an annual event. We hope to build on what we achieved this year in the future and are very much looking forward to doing it again soon.