MEMBERS of a litter-fighting community group are showing pride in their neighbourhood by fighting back against years of neglect – one bag of rubbish at a time.
Kimberworth Park Litter Action Group was the brainchild of Neil Collett, who had grown fed-up with seeing roadside verges and beauty spots clogged with waste, and found other residents felt the same.
The group now carries out regular litter picking sessions and has bagged up and cleared the area of hundreds of bags of discarded bottles, cans and wrappers, as well as numerous larger items.
In one recent pick focused on the Jewitt Road area, action group members filled 19 bags with litter and collected a bed frame, a TV, a kids’ bike, one armchair, an iron gate, parts from several TVs, a gas bottle and a cash desk drawer.
They have taken on several spots over the past few weeks and returned areas like Wingfield Woods to nature – after years of them being riddled with rubbish.
Neil said the group’s Facebook page had more than 150 members, most of whom joined in the regular mass litter picks or kept the streets near where they lived up to scratch.
“The amount of rubbish we've taken out of the woods is unbelievable,” he said.
“A lot more people have been going for walks in lockdown and a lot of them have been leaving litter.
“I went to clear the woods and I couldn’t believe what I saw.
“There was already a litter picking group which mainly dealt with Kimberworth, so I got in contact with a couple of people who were already going out on their own where they lived to see if we could form a group for Kimberworth Park and do something about it.”
Neil said around a dozen people joined each weekly litter pick on a Sunday – at which the next target area is agreed – but other people focused on clearing around the area where they lived.
“You can really see the difference — people are still dropping litter but you think if you’d not been picking it up before it would be twice as bad,” he said.
“The feedback from local people has been amazing, too, with a lot of people saying how much cleaner the area looks.”