Keep Hitchin tidy campaign takes off

MEET Hitchin’s litter heroes, who are already doing their bit to keep the town tidy.

The residents, who between them have been picking up litter in the town for decades, have shared their stories with the Comet to coincide with an effort by Hitchin Forum to make the town litter free for the Diamond Jubilee in June.

The campaign, which is also supported by Hitchin Forum and the Comet, has already attracted the attention of volunteers, with schools and residents coming forward to help.

But there are also those in the town who have been doing their bit for years.

Jen Lynch, 84, said: “I can’t ignore litter and have been picking it up all my life. I’m now in my eighth decade and still do what I call ‘wombling’.

“I used to run a Girl Guides group and they called it ‘wombling’ and it’s just stuck. Litter offends me and nothing breeds rubbish like rubbish. Anybody can pick up litter, whatever their age; it’s an attitude of mind that’s required, that’s all.”

Another Hitchin couple, Chris and Gill Langley, also get involved by cleaning up the Oughtonhead area of the town.

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“We have been litter-picking regularly in the glorious Hitchin countryside for 30 years, because the natural world is so important to us all,” they said.

“It’s sometimes hard to feel we can make a difference globally, but we all know we can have an impact locally. We can’t understand people who are drawn to nature but then are happy to litter it.

“Dog-walkers who decorate the hedgerows with bags of their doggies’ do-dos are simply hooligans. Oughtonhead Common is currently our litter-picking hotspot, as it’s such a special place with birds, rare flowers, beautiful trees and a chalk-stream as well.”

For the clean-up, it is being suggested that neighbours get together to clean their neighbourhoods on Sunday, May 27 between 10am and noon, but if that’s not convenient, another time can be arranged.

To find out more or join in the effort, contact Hitchin Forum by emailing or ring 07974 272315.

The Comet also wants to hear from you - if you know of a particularly untidy area in the town, or want to commend someone who goes above and beyond to keep the town tidy, email your pictures or information to

The team that collects the most rubbish will be featured in the Comet newspaper and presented with a prize.