Volunteers help make Hitchin clean-up event a big success

PUBLISHED: 07:01 02 November 2018

The Guides with their haul at The Dell in Hitchin. Picture: Courtesy of Ellie Clarke

The Guides with their haul at The Dell in Hitchin. Picture: Courtesy of Ellie Clarke

Archant

More than 200 litter-pickers in have been out in force to help rid Hitchin of rubbish, in what has been described as the most successful clean-up event for the town in six years.

More than 200 litter-pickers in have been out to help rid Hitchin of rubbish, in what has been described as the most successful clean-up event for the town in six years.

Hitchin Forum and Clean Up Hitchin combined forces for the Big Green Litter Pick – the latest in a series of clean-up days that have been growing in popularity since 2012.

Then just a few volunteers tackled the then former B&Q site to improve the experience of visitors arriving by rail.

Ellie Clarke, volunteer organiser for Hitchin Forum, said: “That site was such a dreadful welcome to Hitchin, and we found we made a huge difference in just over an hour. It was so satisfying, we decided we could improve Hitchin’s environment more widely by involving more residents.

“This latest litter pick was our most successful event in six years. We had 16 teams of 233 volunteers collect 188 bags of rubbish in total, 90 of whom were children – the youngest was 10 months old and eldest volunteer was aged 84.

“Many teams reported less rubbish than in past events which is encouraging .

The exceptions were The Dell – which was vigorously cleared of rubbish yet again by a team of Guides – and Redhill Road and nearby footpaths.

Items found included a supermarket trolley, boogie board, car park barrier, a large billboard for the fair and two sets of bedsprings.

For the first time, the event was also a ‘treasure hunt’ with items donated by businesses in the community.

Rachel Campbell of Clean Up Hitchin said: “The ‘treasures’ brought an added dimension and were well-received by all.

“We are grateful for the tremendous amount of support from local businesses in donating really worthwhile things to be enjoyed by adults and youngsters - everything from tea and cake to ice creams, books and fireworks tickets.

“Brookers also donated 15 hi-vis vests, a great help because we had so many more volunteers working along roads.

“This was a real community collaboration between local residents and the business community, with strong support from North Herts District Council and Hitchin Initiative.”

For more information to go www.hitchinforum.org.uk – where details of the next event, the Big Hitchin Spring Clean, will be posted in March 2019.

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