by Countryside Alliance

Our annual Countryside Clean-up event took place over the weekend of the 19th-20th September after postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the process of re-organising the event, our sole focus was on how we could conduct the event in a safe and COVID-secure way.

In support of Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Great September Clean’, we set ourselves a target to collect a total of 10,000 pieces of litter with the help of our litter heroes. From their local playing fields and public footpaths to riverbanks and coastlines, our groups of litter heroes took time out of their weekend to support the cause and help to maintain the beauty of our countryside. 

With near on 50 registered groups ready for their litter pick, as well as countless others who spontaneously joined in over the weekend, our litter heroes set out to restore our countryside to its natural beauty. Armed with gloves, masks, hand sanitiser and advice on what to do if they encountered any fly-tipped waste, everyone got stuck in.

From plastic bottles and fast-food wrappers to discarded tyres and water pistols, this weekend saw an array of rubbish being collected by our army of litter heroes. It has been astonishing to hear the feedback from those who got involved, detailing the number of full bags of refuse collected over such small periods of time. We must strive to maintain the beauty within our countryside that is a result of the hard work and dedication of so many rural folk.

Our Head of Policy, Sarah Lee, was also out over that weekend with Blue Peter, talking to their team about the blight of litter and fly-tipping as well as the impact that this level of litter has on our countryside. Two presenters from the programme took part in the litter-pick, one tackling a coastal area and the other taking lead in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Our dedicated team of litter pickers who were out with Blue Peter over the weekend were very grateful to receive a green Blue Peter badge for their efforts. If you didn’t catch our little litter heroes on the initial showing of Blue Peter (Thursday 24th September), you can watch it on demand using BBC iPlayer.

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