THE River Stour has a new protector - the Little Stour Warrior.

Environmental group Transition Stourbridge has officially launched its new boat which will be used in the battle to clean the river.

Instead of launching the vessel with a magnum of champagne the Little Stour Warrior was sent off and officially named with a bottle of crystal clear Malvern Water.

The boat has already been used to transfer rubbish and ferry volunteers to the bits of the river which were previously unreachable.

Rosanne Adams, from The River Stour Clear Water Project, outlined the importance of the new boat.

She said: "We are delighted to have the Little Stour Warrior on the water now as a lot of work was been put into getting the boat ready.

"We will now be able to do lots more work on the river because the boat will allow us to get to places we have never been before."

The Little Stour Warrior came into its own during the latest clean up day on the river last week.

She said: "The boat was used to carry the rubbish upstream and we fished out at least 12 shopping trolleys, at the end it looked like a shopping trolley graveyard.

"One passer-by even said "I've lived here 19 years and didn't know the river was under there."

The River Stour starts in the Clent Hills and runs for 25 miles through Halesowen, Cradley Heath, Stourbridge, Kidderminster and joins the River Severn in Worcestershire.

The River Stour Clear Water Project, which is run by Transition Stourbridge, organise clean ups throughout the year and are always grateful for volunteers.