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Sefton backs Keep Britain Tidy’s million-mile mission to clean up the country

Sefton Council and its army of volunteers, are once again, backing Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean campaign.

Keep Britain Tidy million mile mission for the Great British Spring Clean
Keep Britain Tidy million mile mission for the Great British Spring Clean

Running from Friday 28th May to Sunday 13th June, this year’s Great British Spring Clean calls on the public to help the charity achieve a million miles of litter-picking. 

Throughout the pandemic it has become evident how we have all relied on the local greenspaces and countryside, parks and beaches as somewhere to escape to, to exercise and to play.

Now, Sefton Council has pledged its support for Keep Britain Tidy’s annual campaign and is asking residents and visitors across the Borough to do their bit.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Litter continues to be an issue along our coast, in our parks and green spaces. Each year Green Sefton officers spend around 5,700 hours clearing litter and emptying bins across the Borough’s parks and spaces that they manage totalling 2,340 tonnes.

“That’s the equivalent weight of around 3,600 of Antony Gormley’s cast iron Crosby Beach statues. And it is also the Council’s time and resources that could otherwise be used to enhance our surroundings, facilities and services across the Borough.

“It’s really encouraging to see national initiatives like the Great British Spring Clean highlighting just how important it is for local authorities and community groups to undertake this work, but it’s also a timely reminder that each and every person using Sefton’s outdoor spaces should be disposing of all of their litter correctly.

“This means using bins where they are provided but also being prepared to take litter home after a day out if bins are full.”

This year’s campaign comes as the charity has reported a massive increase in the number of people who have started litter-picking during the various lockdowns. It has seen the number of ‘litter heroes’ grow by a third in less than 12 months.

Sefton already has many incredibly active and dedicated volunteer groups who support their local beauty spots by keeping them clean and tidy. Over the fortnight of Great British Spring Clean activity, Green Sefton officers will be supporting additional volunteer-focused activities across its parks and beaches.

Cllr Moncur added: “The whole Green Sefton team would like to extend a huge thank you to our dedicated volunteer groups who spend their own time helping to clear up their local outdoor spaces, setting a real example for how our communities have a role to play in keeping our Borough looking great – so that we can all enjoy our time spent outdoors.

“It’s timely that it’s also Volunteers’ Week, where across Sefton we’re celebrating the spirt of our communities who’ve done so much, especially over the past year, giving up their time to help others. A massive thank you to every single volunteer who supports Green Sefton!”

The Great British Spring Clean, now in its sixth year, brings together individuals, community organisations, businesses and councils to make a difference to the environment on our doorstep. In 2019, more than half a million people collected just under a million bags of litter, weighing around 4,308 tonnes.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The Great British Spring Clean would not be possible without the support of local authorities, including Sefton Council.

“We have all spent a lot more time in our local area in the past year and have come to realise just how important our local park or green space is for our mental and physical health.

“We need to care for these spaces and the Great British Spring Clean is an opportunity for everyone to take a small action that, collectively, can make a big difference.

“Whether you commit to do five minutes or five hours, every single pledge will help us reach our million-mile target and clear many tonnes of litter pollution from our environment.”

People can pledge to get involved by visiting www.keepbritaintidy.org/gbspringclean

Anyone who would like to volunteer for a litter picking activity, might have an interest in joining a ‘Friends of…’ park group or would like to spend more time at the coast as a Beach Ambassador should get in touch.

To find out more, people can contact the Green Sefton team directly by email at greensefton@sefton.gov.uk