Wealden council is today encouraging people to pledge to do their bit to clear up the litter that blights the Wealden district during the Great British Spring Clean 2022.

This year’s mass campaign, from 25 March to 10 April, calls on families, neighbours, friends and colleagues to join forces and pledge to pick a bag of litter from nearby streets, beauty spots and beaches in order to protect our vibrant communities and precious wildlife habitats.

In partnership with our waste contractor Biffa, we will support volunteers wanting to participate in the Great British Spring Clean. Together we will provide litter picking equipment and arrange removal of the litter you collect.

If you would like to participate, please email us at springclean@wealden.gov.uk giving your name, address and the proposed area you would like to litter pick.

Priority for new equipment will be given to any new groups volunteering and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Waste sacks and waste collection services are available to all groups.

The call to action comes as it is revealed that taking eco action in the outdoors appears to be critical to the wellbeing of our communities, with significant benefits to people’s mental health.

In a survey of people who took part in 2021, 86% said volunteering helped improve their mood, up from up 79% in 2020.

Almost everybody surveyed – 98% – agreed the campaign reduced the impact of litter on wildlife and the natural environment.  

As well as polluting our streets, parks and beaches, litter harms wildlife, domestic pets and cattle, and costs the authority tens of thousands of pounds a year to clean up.  

The Great British Spring Clean, now in its seventh year, brings together individuals, community organisations, businesses and councils to make a difference to the environment on our doorstep – and the charity is keen to stress litter picking can be accessible to everybody with the right resources.

The charity reports a significant increase in the number of people litter picking in the great outdoors to help their mental wellbeing, following the additional pressures triggered by the pandemic.

Roy Galley, Wealden council’s portfolio holder for recycling, paid tribute to both groups and individuals who go out litter picking and urged others to join them.

He said, “We are lucky enough to have some wonderful people within the community who go out all year round litter picking and achieve fantastic results. They continue to rise to the challenge and we are incredibly grateful for taking their own time, during all weathers to clean up after the careless few.

“It is with their help and dedication that we can keep littering in Wealden under control, protecting our wildlife and environment.

“Litter is a massive problem wherever you look, not just locally, but nationally and internationally too. It’s why we want even more people to take part whether it’s as a group or as an individual to help raise the profile of the issue and to set an example.”

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, said, “In the past two years our outdoor spaces and places have mattered to us more than ever before as more people have embraced them during the pandemic – and with this we know local authorities like Wealden District Council have had an extra battle on their hands to keep them clean and green.

“During this year’s Great British Spring Clean, we are calling on everyone in Wealden’s area to harness the power of collective environmental action by taking on the #BigBagChallenge. Whether it’s pledging to pick just one bag, or more, we can all carry out small acts of kindness – for our planet and for ourselves.”

Pledge to get involved today and support us on social media with the hashtag #GBSpringClean and #BigBagChallenge