Ryedale gets to work for the Great British Spring Clean litter picking bonanza

The challenge is on for residents in Ryedale - Keep Britain Tidy has launched the Great British Spring Clean encouraging #LitterHeroes to join forces as part of the #BigBagChallenge. Communities record how many bags of litter they have filled from their picking pursuits and inform Keep Britain Tidy to see how much has been collected across the country.

Communities in Ryedale always step up to the challenge and this year Ryedale District Council is encouraging everyone to join in the Great British Spring Clean which started on 25 March and ends on 10 April.

The event is a great way to make the most of the spring awakening and spend some time outside in the local community with a litter picker and bag in hand.  Everyone is encouraged to become a #LitterHero and act to protect the environment which makes a difference which is huge when we all come together and the Council recognises the importance of this by providing equipment and collecting all bags of litter that have been collected.

Malton & Norton Tidy Group has been going since 2009, that’s over 13 years of helping to keep the streets tidy. Antony Croser, a founding member of the group, explained how and why he got into litter picking:

“I took up litter picking many moons ago. At first, I did it alone, including in Orchard Fields, Malton, as I just wanted to keep the place tidy. I am proud of my community and wanted to keep it that way.

“In 2009 there was a Town Ambassador for Malton and they put a call out for issues in the town and a number of us got in touch about the issue of litter. The Town Ambassador called us together to form the Tidy Group and the rest is history - we’ve been going for over 13 years now, meeting on the first Sunday of the month to litter pick Malton and Norton.”

Advocates suggest the benefits of being a #LitterHero and litter picking which generates positivity for all the community and helps create a space and place where everyone can enjoy free-from litter.

Antony and the group he is part of are doing their bit for the ‘Great British Spring Clean’, he explained:

“We tally up our bags as we go, letting Ryedale District Council know where we’ve left the litter bags and how many we’ve done – it all counts towards the Great British Spring Clean.

All sorts of people from all backgrounds and ages come to our litter picking sessions. We’ve had some teenagers doing their Duke of Edinburgh award getting in on the action.

We don’t restrict people to only pick litter at our group meets either. Ryedale District Council provides us with plenty of equipment, so people who are keen can take their own litter picker and some bags home to do it in their own time.”

It is understood that communities across Ryedale are all the better for these efforts and Antony explains how people react and the personal benefits:

“When out and about picking up litter you get such a great response from passers-by, beaming smiles, some stop to chat. Sometimes we pick litter along the more rural roadsides, people beep and wave, sometimes they even pull over and chat too, it is great.

“You don’t need to join a group, but it does make it quite fun and sociable. Playing your part could be simply picking up some rubbish you see whilst out and about and putting it in the next available bin - one piece of litter binned makes a big difference.”

Margaret Wallace, Programme Director for People and Resources for Ryedale District Council said:

“We are very grateful to our residents and community groups who make the time to help keep Ryedale clean. Their efforts are very much appreciated and do make a big difference. Our teams can support any group or individual by providing litter picking equipment. We also take away the rubbish collected. Together, we can keep our beautiful district litter-free.”

Residents or community groups interested in finding out more about the Great British Spring Clean, becoming a #LitterHero, and joining the #BigBagChallenge can pledge to pick up a bag of litter or two on the Keep Britain Tidy website:

Residents can let Ryedale District Council know how many bags of litter they have picked up with a quick email to and the same email can be used to request litter picking equipment.