Leading by example

Our Hon Secretary, Tony Dixon, has been leading by example during lockdown, with an incredible new initiative that helps, mind, body, and the environment…Litter Picking!

On 20th September, Tony spearheaded a marathon 12 hr, 9 mile, litterpick across Warrington, organising a relay litterpick of 6 teams. It gathered 62 bags and broke a few local records. It was reported in “Warrington Worldwide”.  

Litterpicking is a way of taking purposeful outdoor exercise while exploring a locality – and at the same time, picking up litter with a grabber! 

Simple but effective, it can be done solo, in pairs or as part of a larger co-ordinated team. Litterpickers are people who volunteers to serve the local community by improving their local environment. 

Anyone who can manage moderate intensity exercise can do this, similar to gardening. The setting can be rural, urban, trail or parkland. It can be incredibly mindful. Volunteers feel empowered and positive after a session, particularly as part of a team. How many activities have you done where passers by have stopped to say “thank you”?

It is usually done walking but for longer trails there has been some success with cycle litterpicking using a trailer. Various levels of equipment are used including duo trolleys to pick and separate litter from recyclables. 

Safety (traffic, water etc) is a major concern and public group picks have to be Risk Assessed. Tony’s group follows Keep Britain Tidy guidance, and as a KBT #Litterheroes Ambassador also uses their free PL insurance and educational updates. KBT supports a national network of groups. 

The groups are easy to find, on Facebook :
Clean Up My Community – Warrington 
Latchford Litter Network
And similar Facebook Community pages for newer local Litter networks 
Lymm Litter NetworkOrford Litter Network and others are in the pipeline; Fairfield and Howley, Whitecross, Bewsey.  

There are a number of local litterpicking groups which have started up across Warrington this year. This autumn we have distributed free low cost grabbers to the public – the first event was in Westy. This has tied in with launching the Facebook local “litter network” pages in key areas of town. 
Tony’s Tuesday team started in 2019 and has continued most weeks since, now approaching their 1000th litter bag of 2020, despite all the restrictions and time lost in lockdown. 

Once we are out of lockdown, any of you will be welcome to join for a trial session!