Tuesday, 26 September 2017

What a load of rubbish

What a load of rubbish

HUNDREDS of volunteers cleared tons of rubbish in Henley and South Oxfordshire at the weekend.

They were talking part in the Great British Spring Clean, which was launched by Keep Britain Tidy following the success of its Clean for the Queen initiative to mark Her Majesty’s 90th birthday last year.

In Henley, it coincided with Henley in Bloom’s annual Hit Litter day in which residents and community groups help tackle the town’s grot spots.

This year, a record 70 people took part, including town councillors, members of the Henley sea cadets and the RNLI, cubs and brownies.

They spent Saturday morning collecting about 40 bin bags of rubbish filled with plastic bottles, cans, cigarette ends, takeaway boxes, wrappers, a petrol container, a hockey stick and, ironically, a vacuum cleaner.

Town councillor Kellie Hinton, chairwoman of Henley in Bloom, said: “People like myself and Councillor Will Hamilton have been doing this for almost a decade, which shows that we take having a clean town very seriously.

“We were thrilled with the turnout again this year. We particularly like children taking part as the best way to keep this going is to encourage them to keep Henley tidy while they are young.

“We ran out of litter picks and hi-vis jackets because there was such a good turnout.”

Members of the RNLI cleaned the verges along Fair Mile. Andrew Hawkins, of the Henley Allotments Association, cleaned Berkshire Road and parts of Peppard Lane while Isabelle Brough tidied near Tesco in Reading Road.

Henley Mayor Julian Brookes said: “It’s not good to see so much rubbish but it is good to see people taking the issue seriously.”

About 40 people helped clean up around Rotherfield Greys over the weekend.

Their “finds” included a car bumper, a tyre, a suitcase and two road signs, although most of the rubbish was food wrapping. Organiser Jo Duncan said: “It just doesn’t make sense how people drive through the village and chuck these things out of the window.

“Someone had dumped asbestos between the parish and the Bolts Cross junction so we need to get the district council to take that away.”

About 20 people took part in a litter-pick in Nettlebed on Saturday and managed to fill 35 rubbish sacks.

Parish clerk Lucie Henwood said: “Nettlebed people really rose to the challenge and everyone who took part should be rightly proud of their contribution to improving the look of their village.

“I’d like to thank the Village Club for providing extra rubbish bags when we ran short and the Field Kitchen for giving everyone who took part a restorative cup of coffee.”

In Goring 70 villagers helped collect litter from the towpath, bridlepaths, hedgerows and open spaces. 

They collected 29 bags of recycling and 44 bags of landfill litter.

Organiser Maureen Whitcher, who lives in Gatehampton, said: “There was such a brilliant turnout and I want to thank everyone.

“Judging by what was collected in in a very short time, one can see just how much litter is covering our towns, villages and countryside.

“The litter generally comprises bottles, cans, food wrappings and cigarette ends but there are always some items that surprise.”

On Sunday about a dozen people spent an hour clearing litter from the verges in Middle Assendon and eight residents did the same in Lower Assendon.

Parish clerk Jane Pryce thanked staff at Luscombes at the Golden Ball for giving the volunteers in Lower Assendon free coffee, tea and hot chocolate.

She said: “It worked very well because so many people turned up.

“I was in Lower Assendon and everyone was sent off in different directions so we covered the whole village. 

“We found about half the amount of litter that we did last year and Middle Assendon was the same so maybe the message is getting through.”

However, in Bix five people took part in a clean-up and found twice the amount of rubbish compared with last year.

In Peppard 24 people collected 40 bags of rubbish. The volunteers concentrated mainly on the commons and woodland areas.

Simon Crouch, chairman of the parish council, said: “We focused on those areas as our street cleaner focuses on the litter on the roads.

“A few of the residents came from Wyfold Lane so they focused on that area and gave it a good going over.

“We were very pleased with the way it turned out. We did not clean at all last year.”

Spring cleaning also took place in Pyrton, Watlington, Whitchurch and Sonning.

About 20 people helped tidy up in Watlington over the weekend.

Organiser Terry Jackson said they focused on the entrances to the town including Cuxham Road, Howe Hill  and Britwell Road.

She said: “It’s always good to see litter being picked up. Watlington in Bloom has arranged litter-picks in the past but the turnout has never been as good as this.

“Because it’s a rural area people seem to chuck things into the hedgerows.

“I just want to thank everyone who helped out because it was a brilliant turnout.”

The volunteers included some Watlington guides who went litter picking on Monday evening.

See our gallery of photos of the event here: HIT Litter 2017

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