Litter Picking – Spring 2021

Litter in the landscape

Most people will agree that, for whatever reason, the last year has seen an increase in the amount of litter that’s being left all over the area. As well as being unsightly it can also be environmentally damaging and can harm birds and animals who come into contact with it. We echo the regular requests from local councils and other organisations to take any rubbish away with you.

Technically, the clearing of litter is in most cases the responsibility of the district council (such as West Berkshire or the Vale of White Horse). In practice, however, and particularly since the funding cuts of the last decade, this has been left to parishes to deal with. The real responsibility, however, lies with us – if we don’t drop litter, there won’t be any to pick up. The time spent by volunteers or council staff in clearing this up is time not spent on other tasks that the communities might require.

Most parish and town councils usually organise some kind of community clean-up day in the spring and many are expected to take place in 2021 under suitably socially-distanced conditions. You can google what your own council is doing. If any parish councillor or clerk reading this wants to let us know about their forthcoming events we’ll be delighted to give them a mention.

If you are going to it on your own, You can carry out voluntary litter-picking with your household (or support bubble) or one other person (in which case you should stay 2m apart). Make the litter clean up part of your once per day exercise. Stay in your local area meaning your village, town, or part of the city where you live. Litter pickers and other useful equipment can be purchased from Helping Hand Environmental and please see more litter picking guidelines here from the Spring Equinox Clean Up Team.

Spring Equinox Clean Up – Sunday 21 March 2021

You can also join this national  Spring Equinox Clean Up and log photos of the litter you collect on the Litterati AppThe Spring Equinox is considered the first day of Spring , and thus brings with it the traditional ‘spring clean’ before the hedgerows grow, and the animals make their homes ready for their young. You are less likely to disturb the wildlife and it should be easier to find litter while there is little growth.


Cyclists see a lot of litter on verges and cycle tracks. This appeal encourages cyclists to walk part of their normal route in order to litter pick on Sunday 21 March.

Fly Tipping

A related problem, which also seems to be on the increase, is that of fly tipping of household waste and appliances in the countryside. Local councils can and do prosecute people for this and the fines handed out can run into four figures. It’s worth remembering that if you ask someone to get rid of waste for you and they dump it illegally then you can prosecuted as well as them. Waste operlefators should be registered (click here for more information) and you’re advised only to use someone whose credentials you can verify. You can also take waste to your local recycling centre yourself: charges might apply depending on the volume and the nature of the material but they’re going to a good deal less than a fine…


One Response

  1. Why not speak to The Town & Manor ahead of their normally very successful Annual Litter-pick [by the community, or parts of it!] ahead of the return of the cattle to The Hungerford Common

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Penny Post


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