BARNSTAPLE S week-long annual town tidy up campaign has been hailed an overwhelming success by organisers. More than 400 people took part in organised clean-ups across the town, filling 11 skips and clearing 163 bags of rubbish and recycling. At least 1

BARNSTAPLE'S week-long annual town tidy up campaign has been hailed "an overwhelming success" by organisers.

More than 400 people took part in organised clean-ups across the town, filling 11 skips and clearing 163 bags of rubbish and recycling.

At least 100 schoolchildren also rolled up their sleeves and got involved, helping to clear a variety of items, from plastic bottles and tin cans, to bath tubs, mattresses, broken bicycle and even a pair of false teeth.

Cllr Joanne Barton, chairman of Barnstaple Town Council's Environment Committee, said: "It was raining at the beginning of week but, by the end of the week, the sun was shining and the community came out in force.

"I cannot praise those who took part too highly. This was the whole community working together for the common good.

"I'm so proud to be a part of this and Barnstaple should be so proud of its townsfolk, young and old, for making such a huge difference."

Local organisations, businesses, agencies and community groups tackled areas including the Higher Raleigh allotments, Tarka Trial, Old Sticklepath Hill, Derby Road, Verona Court, Coney Gut, Fairview allotments and Hughes Avenue.

The McDonald's team took part for the third year running, diving into hedges and coverts along Old Station Road to Coney Gut and filling a skip load of rubbish by the afternoon.

Pupils from Sticklepath Primary School joined local PCSO Tony Charles to tackle Anchor Wood and collect a dozen black bags full of litter. They also used 118 small biodegradable flags to draw attention to the dog mess they found in the woods.

On Wednesday, Mayor Ian Roome joined the Reverend David Hughes and members of the Barnstaple Baptist Church taking part in a litter pick along Rolle Quay and Mermaid Cross. The volunteers collected 15 bags of rubbish, including hypodermic needles, which were disposed of by the Environment Health team.

"The event has been another huge success and has been expanded to cover other areas of Barnstaple that were not included before," said Cllr Roome.