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Green clean litter blitz at Newbiggin

Newbiggin litter-pickers Newbiggin litter-pickers Les Ashworth


A shower of rain just an hour before the start time...

...could not put off this determined litter squad at Newbiggin by Sea on the afternoon of Sunday, 21 October. Ranging in age from toddlers to senior citizens, they all pitched in to the task of cleaning up around pathways through the green spaces and woodland to the north of the town.

Plans were laid a week before the Green Clean event, when CPRE Northumberland volunteers Colin Adsley and Les Ashworth came to Newbiggin and were shown around the town by Elaine Brown, Deputy Town Clerk. Elaine had responded to a Facebook post about another CPRE Green Clean litter blitz. When our Treasurer, Les Ashworth, saw this he suggested a joint effort with the Newbiggin Litter group.

‘CPRE has for years campaigned against the blight of litter,’ he said. ‘It’s an eyesore and a health hazard, and so unnecessary. Community-minded groups like the litter-pickers at Newbiggin deserve every support for their year-round efforts.’

Elaine formed the group about a year ago after noticing litter lying about some of the public spaces in the town. ‘This is such a fine little town,’ she said, ‘with so much potential. The beach, Church Point with its Maritime Centre and the ‘Couples’ sculpture are unique features and a great draw. We want to see the town at its best at all times.’

So she set out to do something about it, volunteering her time, and enthusing like-minded people in the town. Her efforts are certainly working. Approaching a hundred and fifty bags of litter have been collected and dozens of people in the town have given their support to the work. Chair of CPRE Northumberland, Colin Adsley commented,’ It’s a pleasure to lend a hand when you find a strong community spirit like this. We’ve got small children here, and one of the local lads walking by asked to join in when he saw us setting up our equipment. He couldn’t wait to get started.’

The CPRE Green Clean national campaign has been running throughout September and this was an extra event. The aim has been to highlight the huge amount of recyclable cans and plastic bottles that are thrown away every day, and pressure the Government into bringing in a deposit/return system that could make it worthwhile NOT to throw them away, just as the charge for plastic bags has reduced plastic waste immensely.

We will leave the last word to Elaine. ‘If you would like to join the Newbiggin litter pickers, contact me, Elaine Brown, at the Town Council office in Fore Street. Everyone is welcome, and if you come along you will get some healthy exercise, and spend a worthwhile hour or two in good company putting a smile on the face of the old town.’

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