North Devon Council will be sprucing up a 34-mile stretch of the road in time for Easter

North Devon Council refuse crew Martin Kiff, Tom Dempster and Robert Boden are among those who helped clean up the A361 last year. Picture: North Devon CouncilNorth Devon Council refuse crew Martin Kiff, Tom Dempster and Robert Boden are among those who helped clean up the A361 last year. Picture: North Devon Council

An annual litter pick of the North Devon Link Road begins next week.

North Devon Council will clean up a 34-mile stretch of the A361 over the next six weeks leading up to Easter and the beginning of the holiday season.

Last year’s efforts saw 1,265 bags of rubbish – nearly eight tonnes – collected by the council in six weeks.

As well as huge amounts of fast food packaging, refuse crews picked up 22 car tyres, three bags of sand and even a television, plus personal items such as bank cards and driving licences.

This year’s litter pick coincides with environmental charity Surfer’s Agaist Sewage’s Plastic Free Coastlines campaign, which the council has backed.

The campaign aims to tackle the growing plastic pollution crisis by getting people and organisations to reduce the amount of plastic waste they produce.

North Devon Council’s executive member for environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, said: “The link road is the main gateway into our district, so it is incredibly important that it represents North Devon in a positive light and shows off what a beautiful district we live in.

“It is so disheartening to see that people continue to discard their litter on the road side, and it’s a shame we need to rely on this clean-up operation to keep the link road litter-free.

“Of all the rubbish we collect on the link road during the litter pick, there is a huge amount of plastic, which is very harmful to the environment.

“We appeal to all link road users - visitors and locals alike - to avoid buying single-use plastic products or, when they do buy these plastics, to put them in their recycling boxes at home rather than leaving them on the road side.

“By working together and taking responsibility for our own actions we can keep North Devon beautiful.”

The council can offer advice and loan litter pick equipment to anyone interested in organising their own litter pick event and may also collected rubbish collected during organised clean-ups if contacted before the event.

For more information, or to borrow litter pick equipment, contact North Devon Council.