A NEW dad has pulled an "astonishing" amount of rubbish – from bikes and scooters to golf carts and giant cuddly toys – from polluted waterways running through Cardenden.

Dumb dumpers have thrown all sorts of garbage in the River Ore and Den Burn and public spirited Andrew Dunlop, 26, has been on a one man mission to haul it all out.

Inspired by You Tube videos, he began with magnet fishing and now pulls on the waders in his own spare time to dredge up the debris.

Andrew, from Dundonald, told the Times: "I wondered what was in the river in Cardenden as I've never seen anyone in it or doing anything there.

"An old boy told me lots of things have been dumped in there over the years and it's astonishing. I've never seen so much stuff in my life.

"I've found bikes, disability scooters, car batteries, bits of motorbikes and bits of cars, golf carts, wheelchairs, a metal fence, old pipes, zimmer frames, you wouldn't believe what people throw in there.

"There was a huge cuddly toy I hauled out, soaking wet and heavy, I think people thought it was a dead body I was dragging!"

Andrew, who together with partner Chloe Russell welcomed baby daughter Eliza into the world on April 14, won't have as much free time on his hands now but in the past month he's taken piles of rubbish from the river.

He said: "At the back of the Premier store (on Station Road), I must have pulled out at least 25 scooters and 15 bikes.

"The heaviest thing was like this big barrier, a spiky fence, it took two and a half hours to move it from the water to the banking.

"People have been looking at all the stuff I'm pulling out and saying I'm doing a good job.

"There's even a Go Fund Me page for new gear. I've never asked anyone for money but that's amazing.

"I also got a call from Cllr Rosemary Liewald who thanked me for everything I was doing and invited me to join the Den Debris Duellers action group."

Andrew, formerly from Lochgelly, continued: "I like finding things. I used to do metal detecting when I was a kid, I've always been curious.

"I have anxiety issues and a problem with my eyes, I've struggled to get a job but I like working outside.

"I used to do allotments at Lumphinnans and I've helped the Forestry Commission up at Blairadam."

Vicky Murdoch, a community development officer at Ore Valley Housing Association, said: "Given the situation in Cardenden with flooding last August and also again earlier this year, clearing the local waterways is essential in alleviating some of the issues surrounding the flood.

"Andrew is doing his bit to help the local community and also making a positive impact for the welfare of the wildlife that make this area home."

The young dad added: "I've been cutting back overhanging trees and branches and tidying the place up a bit, and I've called Sepa about some black sewage water that seems to come down into the river every Saturday.

"I hope it all helps as the flooding here was insane. It was really bad last summer but the river's gone down quite a bit now."

Local resident Mason Jarvis started the fundraising page, which already has £275, and said: "It's great to see someone doing such a good thing for the community in his own time and would be good to see him have some new tools and clothing to help with his efforts."

You can find the Go Fund Me page at https://uk.gofundme.com/f/help-andrew-clear-up-cardenden-waters