More than 400 volunteers cleaned up three tonnes of rubbish filling a whopping 371 bags during a series of litter picks across Bath and North East Somerset as part of Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.
Community groups across Bath and North East Somerset got to grips with the litter during March, battling snowy weather, to do their bit.
In Stanton Drew volunteers tackled the whole parish with the support of 36 adults and children, filling a total of 15 bags. Community-minded pupils from Stanton Drew Primary School made a poster which will eventually go on litter bins within the parish.
Twerton Infant School collected 18 bags of litter in just one hour, celebrating their efforts with home baked cakes, courtesy of George Samios, the headteacher.
Over in Westmoreland, more than 55 children and adults, including 13 volunteers from McDonald’s, helped to clear their local area, starting from three separate locations and finishing at McDonald’s in Lower Bristol Road, where they were rewarded with hot drinks, apple pies and fruit bags for helping to clear up at least 30 bags of litter.
In Keynsham, 61 volunteers turned up to help the Keynsham Wombles, and there was special praise for the enthusiasm of the local Beavers group. The Keynsham Wombles estimated that they cleared at least 80 bags before finishing off at the bowls club for tea and mountains of cake.
Julie Sampson, from the Saltford Wombles, said: “We met for our regular monthly litter pick and had a great turnout with 13 people out picking. Between us we collected 16 bags of rubbish from along the A4 from Pixash along to the Turnpike. As well as the usual takeaway boxes, coffee cups, plastic bottles and sweet wrappers, some of the stranger items we found were a VW badge, a full jar of face cream, one wellington boot and a golf ball.”
Harriette Dottridge, from Compton Dandom, said: "We have even had to remove a fridge from a stream and found odd pieces of cars which could have easily been disposed of via Bath and North East Somerset Council recycling centre."
For many of these volunteers, the Great British Spring Clean is only one event in a regular schedule of litter picking.
Councillor Bob Goodman, (Conservative, Combe Down), cabinet member for neighbourhoods and development, said: “Littering is a thoughtless activity that makes places looks ugly and pollutes the local and wider environment. However it is encouraging that across Bath and North East Somerset there are so many great volunteers who frequently pick up litter, whether it be as part of their routine, by adopting a local street or area or by meeting regularly to tackle particular hotspots.”
Karen Wood, from Twerton, said: “Apart from the Great British Spring Clean many of those who do this regularly go out walking collecting rubbish as we go. I collect two bags most weeks and plan to continue to keep the community where I live free from rubbish.”
Residents in Widcombewest, who spent the Great British Spring Clean clearing snow and a whole array of debris left behind by people who’d gone out sledging, also clear Holloway and the subway nearly every week as part of their Keep Bath Tidy group.
Councillor Goodman added: “The number of groups and volunteers that took part in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean is a testament to the willingness of the residents of Bath and North East Somerset to take care of the local and wider environment. Bath & North East Somerset Council would like to say well done and thank you to everyone who takes the effort to make their neighbourhood a nicer place to live. As we’re learning more and more, litter can be a serious hazard for our natural environment and even litter dropped locally can be blown and washed away by our rivers, ending up many miles away and polluting our seas. Every piece of litter that’s picked up is one less piece that can spoil the world we live in.”
For more general information on litter and related issues please visit the council’s website: www.bathnes.gov.uk/litter or take a look at the Recycle for Bathnes Facebook page (www.facebook.com/recycleforbathnes)
Pictured is Shirley Edwards, from Stanton Drew, with some of the bags of litter they picked up.