The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick

A collective community effort of almost 800 volunteer litter pickers on this year’s Great Cumbrian Litter Pick on 21st and 22nd May saw 75 groups across Cumbria cover a distance of 311 km gathering over 500 bags of rubbish.

The annual event, organised by conservation charity Friends of the Lake District, brought together schools, community groups, organisations and businesses to highlight the problems of littering and the huge amount of voluntary work that goes into keeping the county clean.

Ruth Kirk, Landscape Engagement Officer said: “The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick takes place over two days, but many of the people who took part are out with litter pickers and bags day in and day out.

"Research shows that when a place is clear of litter, people are less likely to drop rubbish so this is a vital task that volunteers are doing. Ultimately we need to make littering socially unacceptable and there is a long way to go to change people’s behaviour. Discarded debris doesn’t just look horrible, it harms wildlife and our spectacular landscapes.”

Some of the items found included a 1980s cash register, a rubber duck, plastic toys, shoes, socks, a bra, a caravan toilet, balls of all types, coconut shells, a spade, carpet, and a giant inflatable rubber tyre tube as well as the ever-present cans, bottles and dog poo bags.

Children from Hawkshead Primary School (above) spent a day clearing their village with one staff member commented, “The day was a mixture of emotions, pride in our beautiful village but saddened and angered that there was so much litter strewn about.”

Ruth added: “We are so proud of and grateful to everyone who turned out to take part in the Great Cumbrian Litter Pick 2021. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day, we didn’t have to?”

Particular thanks go to The Lakes Plastic Collective, Lake District Diving and the National Trust for their support as well as European Outdoor Conservation Organisation EOCA and Smartwool Europe for their sponsorship of the event.

See all the Great Cumbrian Litter Pick 2021 photos on our facebook page.