Debris dive in Lake Windermere!

On Saturday 2nd March 2013, 262 divers joined Paul Rose and collected tons of rubbish in response to his call to action to clean up Lake Windermere and help raise awareness of ocean debris.

Seven tons of junk was recovered including a fully working toilet complete with cistern and ballcock and an outboard motor for a boat. There were also 73 car tyres and at least four car batteries along with all the usual tin cans, plastic and glass.

It  was a great success, captured people’s imagination and raised awareness on a very important global issue.

Paul says, “We took out enough rubbish to fill a shipping container but this is only a small percentage of what still lies on the bottom. It’s a sobering thought that this is the way we treat our beautiful lake and reflects the way we disrespect our oceans”.

The day was a fantastic response to a call for action and shows that with enough enthusiasm we can have a positive impact on our waters. We’ll be doing more!”


The great Windermere Monster Sculpture project building starts on Friday 21st June and runs to Sunday 23rd June! Come to Merz Barn and help us turn our dive debris into a 20 metre long Windermere Monster! Just come anytime or call Ian Hunter at 015394 37309 for more information. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

Paul Rose collecting debris in the Lake Windermere Debris Dive

News coverage selections:

BBC News
ITV News
BBC One Show
National Geographic
Westmoreland Gazette
Impact International
Friends of The Lake District News
Keep Britain Tidy
Resource Magazine
USA News
Top News Today

Paul at the Zurich Museum of Design with the amount of debris that enters our seas every 15 seconds

"The amount of debris entering our seas is so vast that it’s practically immeasurable. And as our oceans are the largest, least understood and least protected ecosystem on the planet, it can be difficult to grasp the problem.

By debris-diving inland lakes and then producing beautiful works of art from the rubbish I surprise and engage large audiences in the ocean debris issue.

When we look at the rubbish collected from my lake dives it's easy to draw parallels with the ocean debris as it brings things into a smaller scale".

Ocean debris leadership from Lake Windermere!

Ocean debris

At the heart of the beautiful Lake District National Park, Lake Windermere is the largest lake in England. It's pristine waters are the pride of the nation and by collecting the rubbish from the bottom we are cleaning up the lake and drawing important parallels with the ocean debris issue.
Teams of divers from all across the UK made a series of dives in the Bowness area of Lake Windermere to collect debris from the lake bottom that has accumulated over many years.
This underwater “treasure” is being transformed into beautiful sculptures and objets d'art by school groups. These works of art will then be displayed and auctioned to raise funds for charity. Our art partner is the Kurt Schwitters Merz Barn project who will help us build the world's largest Merz rubbish scuplture!
Kurt Schwitters' work is currently at the Tate until 12th May 2013.
Participating schools are:
  • Langdale Primary
  • Hawkshead Primary
  • Lakes School
  • John Ruskin - Coniston
  • Langdale School
We invite all artists and schools to join us in the art project. Just contact Ian Hunter at Merz Barn or Paul Rose.
Ocean debris
A big THANK YOU to the Partner Organisations:
Ocean debris news and information
Cumbria information



Really fascinated by your talk tonight at the Theatre by the Lake. A friend of mine would have really enjoyed the presentation if I had known from the blurb it was going to be about diving. Loved your enthusiasm and description of mega life changing experiences -also how easy and quick it is to turn hate into love -perhaps they are closer than we think!
No mention here of the exhibition of rubbish sculptures and exhibition around the keswick area -it would be good to advertise it -June 7th was it?

A great day glad to be able to help. Even went in my wet suit. And amazed me how warm i stayed.

What an absoloutley amazing day, 2 dives off cock shott point and entry of rubbish acquired. A very very worthy cause and great to see so many people !!

May I congratulate all those involved on the massive task of cleaning up the bed of Windermere in Bowness Bay. Hope to hear what the total rubbish count is?

Adrian Faulkner, Windermere in Bloom

Hi everyone,

There's 8 of us coming up from Aquaventurers, Liverpool.

Same Question re Fills ;) just bringing as many cylinders as we've got :) really wished we'd bought Stages too ;)

Looking forward to the early start :)

Looking forward to the event tomorrow - leys see how much we can bring up. Carlisle subaqua club (ScotSAC)

Actually I think you will find that there is no such place as "Lake" Windermere.
The suffix 'mere' means 'lake' so the term "Lake Windermere" actually translates as 'lake Winder lake'!
The correct name for this very beautiful place is simply "Windermere"!

Having said that, I do believe that this effort to clean up at least part of Windermere is a magnificent project.
If I didn't live so far away, and if I could swim, I'd love to be helping.
Congratulations, and good hunting, to everyone taking part.

jayprime, Norfolk

Paul rules

We have six divers coming along to join in the cleanup and at least two volunteers to help on shore

That last post was for Chorley BSAC!

Eight of us are coming up from Banbury to give a diving hand :)

We have a team of 26 divers and 4 shore volunteers coming up from
Rotherham Dream Divers ltd . What an event to put in your log book !!

We've registered a couple, hopefully have some more before the day.

Same question, has there been any provision made for air fills?

We've registered a couple, hopefully have some more before the day.

Same question, has there been any provision made for air fills?

Bradford uni sac will be there

Garry and Graham will be there for the debris dive. Any news on air fills or do we bring more tanks?

The North Sea Divers (FB Group) will be there!

Well, actually we'll join everyone else on the 2nd March!! (Penrith Divers)

Having gathered up what we can in Ullswater over the years, a group of Penrith Divers (ScotSAC) will be there on 3rd March.

Hi Paul
A team from Dream Divers in Rotherham
Will be there ;-)

Just a couple of quick questions..

If we are doing repetitive dives, what will be the arrangement for air fills on the day? Will somebody be bringing a compressor?

Also will collection sacks/bags be provided, or do we need to provide our own?

Kind regards
Steve Smith
Instant Divers group admin.

Our group will be there Paul..

We are the Instant Divers.. (Just Add Water)

And we will be there :)

We're concerned as a collective group of divers who've no political agenda about the rubbish in our waters. We'd like to help and make our (marine) world that little bit cleaner.

We're called 'Only Diving' and you can find us on Facebook!

The Plastic Oceans Foundation will be there Paul