GALLERY: The Big Hitchin Tidy Up

One youngster in Station Approach

One youngster in Station Approach - Credit: Archant

DOZENS of volunteers took to the streets of a town over the bank holiday weekend with the same aim – to make the area a little tidier.

Park Gate litter pickers

Park Gate litter pickers - Credit: Archant

Gathering at 11 locations across Hitchin, 120 people took part in the Big Hitchin Tidy Up on Sunday, which was organised by Hitchin Forum.

Firefighters in Butts Close wade into the river

Firefighters in Butts Close wade into the river - Credit: Archant

A school and nursery got involved, with firefighters in Hitchin also giving a helping hand.

Co-organiser Ellie Clarke said: “Without exception people reported having a great time and making a huge difference in their area.

“Everyone worked incredibly hard and we are very grateful for their efforts, because without them, this couldn’t have happened.

“Although our volunteers gathered a massive amount of rubbish once again, our investigations around the town indicate that the situation generally on the streets has improved in the years since we started campaigning about litter in Hitchin. The council should be commended for that, as well as the many residents who work all year round, keeping their neighbourhoods clean and tidy.”

Residents and The Priory School tackled Westmill footpaths, volunteers took on Whitehill, and Friends of the Earth were in Ransom’s Recreation Ground.

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There were also 15 – including members of West of Hitchin Action Group – tidying the perimeter of the town’s cricket ground, members of Hitchin Bridge Club tidying Bancroft Gardens and Millennium First Steps Nursery tackling Station Approach.

The nursery was the biggest group on the day, with 10 children, 15 adults and three others turning up.

Nursery manager Rachel Hursey said: “We had a great day, the staff, children and parents really worked hard and the area looks amazing.”

Park Gate, Bessemer Close and St Michael’s Road got a spruce up from residents and Friends of Butt Close were joined by firefighters from Hitchin station.

Dozens of bin bags of rubbish were collected, with a hi-fi system, an office chair, a bicycle wheel, beer cans and a tractor tyre among the finds on the day.

A number of items were also recycled.

“We are very grateful for all the external support we’ve had,” said Ellie.

“This was a town-wide project and has been publicised and promoted by the Comet, supported by Hitchin Initiative providing insurance cover and by North Herts District Council providing black bags and litter pickers along with follow-up collection of rubbish bags.

“It’s been a very successful partnership effort.”

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