Volunteers uniting for a litter free Hampshire
CPRE Hampshire, the countryside charity in partnership with Idverde, a leading green service provider is launching new weekly litter picks to help tackle the problem of litter in the roadside verges of Hampshire.
With the support of local volunteers and Idverde, who provide a truck and driver to follow the litter pickers and screen them from approaching traffic and also generously loan the equipment needed for the clean-up, the first litter picks were held over the weekend in Brambridge, Eastleigh and in Badger Farm, Winchester.
John Lauwerys, a CPRE Hampshire Trustee who is leading the initiative says, ‘CPRE has a long tradition of seeking to tackle the scourge of littering which has become an increasing problem over recent decades. Many parts of the countryside are disfigured by litter and fly tipping and this has grown worse since the covid pandemic.’
CPRE commissioned a YouGov poll in 2020 which showed that over a third of adults in England (38%) saw more litter near to where they live since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Four in five people (78%) would like to see the government take more action to tackle litter.
Natalie Hargreaves, CPRE Hampshire’s Volunteer Coordinator joined the litter picking group along Badger Farm Road in Winchester and says: ‘We are so pleased to be working in partnership with Idverde and were extremely grateful to the handful of volunteers who supported us over the first weekend.
We gathered around eight bags full of items ranging from L plates and glass and plastic bottles to drinks cans and food wrappers. We hope to continue our litter picking activity on a weekly basis and reduce litter pollution across Hampshire.’
CPRE’s campaigns to reduce litter include Stop the Drop launched by Bill Bryson in 2008 and more recently its successful campaign for the introduction of the plastic bag charge. Ahead of the local elections on 6 May, CPRE Hampshire is calling on all political parties to develop better policies in key areas, including developing an ‘all-in’ Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers to reduce waste and litter and boost recycling.
Alongside the poll, CPRE published a report in December 2020, ‘Litter in lockdown’, looking at trends in litter and waste since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. The study shows that where people go, litter follows, with one in three people (34%) spending more time in the countryside since the start of lockdown.
CPRE Hampshire is looking for more volunteers to help with the weekly litter picks, including a new coordinator to help organise the sessions. If you would like to get involved and can spare an hour on Saturday mornings at 10.30, call Natalie Hargreaves on 01962 841897 or email Natalie on email@example.com.