In April 2019, fed up with seeing our lovely local green spaces marred by litter, Gill Smith organised a litter pick on the Outwood Trail and the response was 30 people came and picked about 40 bags of rubbish. They recently accepted their 700th member, which is an amazing achievement.
Gill said, “Little did I know that this effort would be a regular occurrence nor that it would escalate the way it has! Our group gained momentum in February 2020 when we merged with Radcliffe Litter Heroes, set up by Amanda Rhead also in 2019. Two other administrators joined us, Ryan Walters and Andrea Booth, and their skill set helped immensely with our expansion. We were thrilled to number 100 members then. In just over a year, we have gained a further 600 members and none of us imagined this was possible.
The pandemic has changed the way people think about Radcliffe, their surroundings and the community. There is so much kindness. There are around 100 regular pickers now with a core of about 40 who pick 4 or 5 times a week. We have forged friendships and these relationships, and the good exercise, have improved our mental health and wellbeing at such a strange time.
We often work on the Bury and Bolton canal; we recently joined forces with Little Britain Anglers and had 4 boats collecting rubbish. A local business, Brightside Brewery, kindly sponsors us and has provided hi-viz jackets, signs and business cards. They are also members of the team and pick regularly (and we do appreciate a cold beer after a pick!).
We cannot quite believe how many people have taken up litter picking in Radcliffe. Thank you to them all.”
If anyone would like to join Radcliffe Litter Pickers, they will receive gloves, bags and pickers provided by the council, who also collect all the bags of rubbish we pick. The group picks dates and times are advertised on their Face Book page, or email Gill Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org