Friday, 03 April 2020
VOLUNTEERS collected around 200 bin bagsful of rubbish during Sonning Common’s annual spring clean.
Among the items they found were a toilet, a television and a Christmas tree as well as vehicle bumpers and wheel hub caps.
About 140 people took part in the two-hour event, which started and finished at the village hall in Wood Lane.
The organisers had been given permission to close Reades Lane so children could clear litter from the verges.
Teams of people tackled other streets, including Kennylands Road, Peppard Road, Blackmore Lane, Brinds Corner and Blounts Court Road.
They used litter-pickers supplied by South Oxfordshire District Council and Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge School in Reades Lane and were transported by the Fish volunteer centre, a charity which provides minibus transport to people in need.
The bags were left behind barriers outside the village hall for the council’s contractor to collect. Peppard Building Supplies erected the barriers and also gave £100 that was spent on extra gloves for the children.
Estate agent Davis Tate installed 10 signs across the village which read “community litter pick in progress” to warn drivers.
Organiser Emma Lawrence said: “We made a massive difference. The fact we have gone out every year and taken things out of the environment that shouldn’t be there means it is always a successful event.
“The great thing this year was that so many more people got involved. I know that picking up litter in Sonning Common isn’t going to change the world but it helps influence our young people. They see how bad it is and that the litter shouldn’t be here.
“Some people had not really noticed the problem before and it was a great opportunity to support people who already collect litter.”
Mrs Lawrence, 41, usually remains at the village hall to marshal the event but this year she got the chance to take part.
“I actually managed to get my hands dirty,” she said. “It was great to be able to go out around the village and it was really fulfilling to see all the pickers out.”
She thanked everyone who took part, including the members of the village scout groups and Women’s Institute, and the Co-op store, which provided refreshments.
The Sonning Common community first responders were also on hand in case anyone needed medical treatment.
Mrs Lawrence added: “We have had loads of messages from people saying it was great and people who have driven along Reades Lane before and after the event have said what a huge difference it has made.
“I’m pretty addicted to this and it was quite fun for me to meet other people who are as obsessed about picking litter as me.
“I feel really proud of Sonning Common. There’s a great community feel in the village and a real can-do attitude.
“I think people have been inspired by global events and Greta Thunberg and things like Blue Planet, which are challenging people to get out and take action.
“By organising an event like this, you give people the opportunity and the means to make a difference in their community.”
23 March 2020
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