Two community litter pickers were this week presented with prizes for submitting old or unusual items of litter, discovered while cleaning up their local environment.

The Great Herefordshire Spring Clean ran from 22 March – 23 April, as part of the Great British Spring Clean, and was a huge success, with over 60 litter picks carried out by parish councils or community groups, and over 825 bags of litter collected.

During the Spring Clean, the council encouraged volunteers to share their litter picking stories, and submit nominations with the hope of winning in one of two categories: oldest piece of litter found; and most unusual piece of litter found. The winners were selected last week and have now been awarded their prizes.

The winner of the most unusual piece of litter prize was eight year old Zeb Swan, from Wellington, who found an intriguing pair of plastic handcuffs.

Spring clean competition winners announced

Zeb’s mum, Gill Bullock, said:

“A squeal of excitement came from Zeb as he held a pair of handcuffs aloft with his grabbers.  I’d told them about the competition for the most unusual item and he knew straight away he’d found a gem.”

Zeb’s family always try to join in litter picking events in their local area.

Zeb said: “I like litter picking because it is good for the environment and it makes Wellington a really nice place to live.  It’s a good way of being outside and going for a walk.”

Spring clean competition winners announced

Meanwhile, the prize for the oldest piece of litter found was presented to Wendy Salter, of the Ross Community Clean-up group, who submitted a For Sale sign which is at least a quarter of a century old, dated by the old telephone code.

Wendy said:

“During our last group litter pick of the Great Herefordshire Spring Clean, we found a for sale sign that was at least 25 years old. It was in a hedge on Homs Rd, Ross, together with a lot of polystyrene & plastic, some so old it had moss growing over it. 12 adults and four children collected 33 bags that day - totalling over 100kgs.”

Spring clean competition winners announced

The Ross group were also the most prolific community group during the Spring Clean, collecting 252 bags amounting to 1445kgs of rubbish.

Spring clean competition winners announced

Both Zeb and Wendy were presented with £25 vouchers to a local retailer of their choice.

Ben Boswell, Energy and Active Travel Manager at Herefordshire Council, said:

“There is a fantastic network of hardworking individuals and groups who help to tackle litter in Herefordshire, and the Great Herefordshire Spring Clean showed what can be achieved when we all work together.

Congratulations to our competition winners, Wendy and Zeb, and thank you to everybody who submitted pictures. There were some brilliant items found and it was a very difficult decision in the end, but every single person who contributed to the Spring Clean should be very proud of the positive impact they have had on their local environment.

Over £1million is spent on cleaning up litter in Herefordshire each year, and without the efforts of the more than 150 community groups and thousands of individuals across the county, it would be an impossible task. Thank you to everyone who supported the Great Herefordshire Spring Clean, and everybody who is committed to keeping Herefordshire clean, tidy and beautiful.”

Comprehensive information and support for volunteer litter pickers can be found at www.herefordshire.gov.uk/stopthedrop

Published: Wednesday, 22nd May 2019