Help us to Clean Up Yorkshire

Jeff Yates, coordinator of Litter Free Guiseley, picks litter from woodland in Guisley. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
Jeff Yates, coordinator of Litter Free Guiseley, picks litter from woodland in Guisley. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe
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WE WANT to clear hundreds of bags of rubbish from Yorkshire’s streets, lanes and fields - but we need your help to do it.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), partners in the Clean Up Yorkshire campaign, estimates that if every person in Yorkshire who was able to picked up just one piece of litter from our streets a day, 2.5million pieces would be removed a day.

Jeff Yates, coordinator of Litter Free Guiseley, picks litter from the roadside in Guisley. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Jeff Yates, coordinator of Litter Free Guiseley, picks litter from the roadside in Guisley. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

We are encouraging everyone to do their bit to Clean Up Yorkshire next month by setting up clean up groups and removing litter from our streets.

Stop the Drop campaign manager for the CPRE, Samantha Harding, said: “There’s a range of ways people can take action, starting from the very easy, like picking up a piece of litter or pledging to not drop litter, to organising a clean up group.

“It’s important for people to do what they can because that’s the only way, realistically, that the litter problem in Yorkshire will be solved.”

Clean Up Yorkshire is calling on individuals and community groups to join existing clean up groups, or set up their own and hold litter picks throughout June.

There are almost 750 groups registered on the LitterAction.org.uk website, which is ran by the CPRE and Clean Up UK. It contains advice and support on getting started, including how to get funding for equipment, step-by-step tips on arranging an event and help with what to do with the rubbish once it is collected.

“What we see time and time again is one person set up a group, and it just snowballs, with more and more people getting involved,” Ms Harding said.

“We tell you how to take care of yourself and others while you’re doing it, offer free equipment, and advice on recycling. You just need to get outside and pick it up.”

We’re asking people who set up clean ups to let us know so we can help publicise the event and track how much litter has been collected throughout the month.

You can also register your group on the site, just put ‘Clean Up Yorkshire’ within the group name, and email us to let us know.

Already on board with Clean Up Yorkshire is the Litter-Free Guiseley group, which was set up by coordinator Jeff Yates in 2003.

Every Sunday members clear litter from the streets, lanes and green spaces around Guiseley, near Leeds. Last weekend it cleared bags of rubbish following the Tour de Yorkshire, which ran through the area. It has been supported by Leeds Council, which provided tongs and bags for collecting litter.

Mr Yates said: “When we first started Guiseley was covered in litter, it was a shocking sight.

“In particular, we get a staggering amount of litter that is thrown from car windows on our country lanes - takeaway packets, bottles and cans.

“There will always be litter on the ground, but by taking charge of their own areas, small groups can make a real difference. Hopefully we can inspire other people to take action.”

Ms Harding added: “There are so many benefits to cleaning up our streets. We hear from people who have met their neighbours for the first time, and litter begets litter, so once an area it reduces the amount of litter that is then dropped. The visual impact of littering is huge - your enjoyment of an area and feelings of safety and happiness drop when your environment is bad.”

To find a clean up group near you, including Litter-Free Guiseley, or to register a new one, visit www.litteraction.org.uk

Tell us about your Clean Up Yorkshire efforts

Whether it’s taking a bag with you while you walk your dog, or organising an event in your community or workplace, we want to hear about your efforts for Clean Up Yorkshire.

Send us details of your litter pick and the total number of bags you collect to hannah.start@ypn.co.uk

We also want to hear about the litter hotspots across the region. If you see it, snap it and send it over via The Yorkshire Post website or tweet using the hashtag #CleanUpYorks

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