Ten years of litter picking for Ryedale
Malton and Norton Tidy Group was established in 2009 by four local people who were concerned about litter across the two towns and wanted to do something positive about it. Since then, volunteers have litter picked on the first Sunday of every month (as well as other times in between) so it makes it a perfect fit to get involved with the national campaign Great British Spring Clean.
We hear from Antony Croser, who is one of the founders of the group about his litter picking experiences...
In over ten years of litter picking hundreds of bags, plus debris, such as abandoned road signage and broken vehicle parts, have been collected. Collections are largely made up of cans, bottles and food-on-the-go packaging but it never fails to amaze me what else is picked up and just how much.
Over the years volunteers have collected a hamster’s cage, items of clothing, CDs, a bag of fish and money. As has happened across the country, the past year has seen the introduction of face masks to the list.
In each of the past three years over 500 bags have been collected. The Tidy Group concentrates its efforts on the roadside verges where the litter comes from passing traffic, and areas away from the town centres. Despite all this work being carried out in the same areas and all year round, the twenty or so volunteers who regularly get involved continue to collect dozens of bags of litter every month.
We are aware that within our community there are other residents who are going out of their way to keep the towns as tidy as possible by picking up litter.
As with other litter picking groups and individuals across Ryedale, the Tidy Group is supported by Streetscene of Ryedale District Council with the provision of bags, litter pickers and hi-vis vests, and through the collection of the bags of litter.
There are many people and groups across the country picking litter from their communities doing an amazing job in promoting civic pride and improving the environment. In the past year, especially, the issue of litter blighting our world has come to the fore. People have been out and about on foot in their local area more than ever and it has opened many people's eyes to the situation and spurred them on to doing something about it. A clean, healthy environment is good for us and the economy – it plays an important role in improving our well-being and helps businesses be more successful.
I would encourage anyone to litter pick in their community – it is very rewarding in a number of ways. It gives a great feeling of achievement, is good exercise, and, if you can do it with someone else, it can be very sociable all whilst improving the look of a place and benefitting wildlife.