Litter pickers tidy up town

BARNSTAPLE is a brighter, cleaner and nicer place to live this week thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to give their town a good old-fashioned spring clean. With rubber gloves and bin bags at the ready, more than 3

BARNSTAPLE is a brighter, cleaner and nicer place to live this week thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to give their town a good old-fashioned spring clean.With rubber gloves and bin bags at the ready, more than 300 people -including at least 60 schoolchildren - were out and about around the town during the week-long "Tidy up our Town" litter pick, organised by Barnstaple Town Council's Environment Committee.Councillors, local organisations, businesses, agencies and community groups took part in around 50 different co-ordinated clean-ups, more than double the amount at last year's inaugural event.Following the event's launch in the town's Guildhall on Monday, litter pickers were out if force in Cats Lane, the Yeo Valley Community Woodlands and the Higher Raleigh allotment site. On Tuesday, seven volunteers from Age Concern managed to fill eight black bags within two hours in the Zion Lane and Kiln Lane areas.While on Wednesday, members of the Barnstaple Baptist Church congregation cleared rubbish from Mermaid Walk and Rolle Quay.And a team from McDonald's didn't hold back either; they dived into hedges and coverts to pull out wooden pallets and shopping trolleys along Eastern Avenue - and filled a skip with rubbish by 3pm. Later that day, lady Rotarians from Soroptimist International of Barnstaple were out on the streets from 6pm clearing litter from the railway station and the Severn Brethren Industrial Estate.On Thursday, a wig was one of the more bizarre items cleared by environment committee chairman Cllr Rod Hawes, who led a team blitzing the Pottington area of the town. On Friday and Saturday the probation team removed graffiti from areas in the town, concentrating on road signs and other public property. On Saturday, seven separate projects were organised by Hillsview and Ashleigh Residents' Associations; Fairview Allotment tenants; Sanctuary Shaftesbury Housing; and Holy Trinity Church. The Blue Watch team of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service helped to clear the river bed.During the week, Ashleigh, Yeo Valley, Orchard Vale and Pathfield schools held five projects, collecting a whopping 58 bin bags of rubbish.In total, volunteers aged from eight to 80 filled an impressive 108 bags of rubbish and 120 skips.Cllr Rod Hawes said the week was an "overwhelming success."n McGREEN clean! Environment committee vice-chairman Cllr Jo Barton and McDonald's staff members filled a skip with rubbish.n SAY "no" to dog poo! Pupils from Ashleigh Primary School started their own poster campaign to encourage dog owners to "pick up" after their animals.


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