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Celebrating local litter heroes getting behind the New Forest Spring Clean

Celebrating local litter heroes getting behind the New Forest Spring Clean

PUBLISHED ON: 7 MAY 2021

New Forest organisations are recognising the incredible response from the local community in tackling the major rise in litter across public spaces this year and are encouraging them to get involved in a New Forest Spring Clean.

The New Forest Spring Clean is a joint initiative between New Forest District Council, Forestry England, New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire County Council, National Trust and the Verderers of the New Forest.

This is part of the annual Great British Spring Clean from Keep Britain Tidy, from 28 May to 13 June 2021, which this year asks people to make an online pledge to clean up in their local area in a bid to meet a national ‘million mile mission’.

Cllr David Russell, NFDC’s Portfolio holder for people and places said: ‘We all have a responsibility to keep our surroundings clean and tidy. Litter is not just an eyesore; it is a danger to people and wildlife and is costly to clean up. We are lucky to have enthusiastic volunteers looking out for the New Forest, and as restrictions are lifting, we are keen to support people’s efforts to clean up our district safely.

‘Whether you want to clean up at your park, town, beach or forest, we can help you by supplying the equipment you need and collecting the rubbish you pick up.’

New Forest District Council can lend equipment for groups of up to 30 volunteers*, including litter grabbers and hi-vis jackets, for organised litter picking events. They will supply rubbish sacks and arrange to collect the waste after the litter pick. Organisers can get more information and request support for their event at www.newforest.gov.uk/litterpicking

Families and individuals can also get free litter picking equipment and advice on their clean up, when they sign up as a New Forest Ambassadors, with the New Forest National Park Authority. There is more information at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/nfambassadors

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Gavin Parker said: ‘Any litter left in our National Park can be a problem. It can start wildfires and can kill commoners’ animals and wildlife and pollute the waterways. We’d like to thank our ambassadors and all the other groups such as Litter Pickers of the New Forest, Team Totton and Copythorne Parish Pickers who have tirelessly litter-picked throughout the year. We are calling on more families, communities and businesses to join this concerted effort to help us to clean up the Forest this spring.’

During the Great British Spring Clean, Forestry England will also be setting up rubbish collection points, where litter pickers can safely dispose of the waste they collect. As much waste as possible will be recycled.  Forestry England and NFDC will also be working together throughout May and June to carry out litter picking along 100 kilometres of forest roadside verges.

Bruce Rothnie, Deputy Surveyor of the New Forest, Forestry England, said: ‘Our staff have seen first-hand the escalating problem of litter on the Forest and the danger it poses to wildlife. Over the last year they have collected everything from smouldering disposable BBQs, to abandoned kayaks, clothing and many tonnes of plastic waste. Support from the local community in tackling litter has been simply incredible. So many individuals and local groups are giving their time to help keep the Forest clear of litter. We thank them for their amazing care of this special place and look forward to supporting them further during the Great British Spring Clean.’

Cllr Russell added: ‘Please remember that your personal safety must always come first. If you are planning a clean-up, please get permission from the landowner and follow our health and safety guidance to make sure you and your volunteers stay safe on your litter pick.’

Health and safety guidance:

Consider where you plan to litter pick, be aware of any hazards in the area, and ensure all volunteers are aware of the safety advice.

If you choose to go litter picking, for your safety, please;

  • don’t litter pick along roads with a speed limit of more than 30mph, highways or highway verges, or any roads where there is no pavement or footpath
  • avoid litter picking steep slopes, cliff edges or in water courses
  • always litter pick in daylight, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear, including a hi vis vest if possible
  • use a litter grabber to pick things up, and don’t attempt to pick up anything too heavy, sharp or hazardous
  •  report any fly tipping or hazardous items, such as needles, to the council as soon as possible at www.newforest.gov.uk or on 023 8028 5000
  • be aware of other people, dogs and wildlife, and make sure children are supervised at all times
  • don’t enter private land without permission
  • if you are organising a litter pick please make sure you follow current COVID -19 and social distancing guidance, use hand sanitiser regularly, and wash your hands thoroughly after the event

To make your online ‘million mile mission’ pledge, visit www.keepbritaintidy.org and let them know how many minutes and hours of litter picking you will pledge during the Great British Spring Clean. You can pledge as an individual or a group and they will convert those minutes to miles.

Please volunteer in line with current government guidance for COVID-19. In England, from the 29 March litter picking activity is permitted in small groups of up to six volunteers, or two households. Check the current restrictions at gov.uk/coronavirus

Full health and safety advice, and a downloadable guide for community litter picking, is available at www.newforest.gov.uk/litterpicking.


* New Forest District Council’s support for community litter picking is available from Wednesday 26 May, and subject to government restrictions for COVID-19.

Joint press release with New Forest District Council, Forestry England and New Forest National Park Authority.

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect – Enjoy – Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:
-Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park – Protect.
-Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:
-Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

About Forestry England

Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, with over 230 million visits per year. As England’s largest land manager, we shape landscapes and are enhancing forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. For more information visit forestryengland.uk. Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission.

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