From the lake bed of Windermere to the summit of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, hundreds of volunteers will be out in force on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd May in a bid to clean up the Lake District and Cumbria and spread the message to everyone who visits to take their litter home and leave no trace. 

A debris dive in Lake Windermere led by Lake District Diving and a hike and litter pick up the highest mountain in the Lake District, Scafell Pike, led by the National Trust are just two of the many places local communities will be tidying. 

Over 60 litter picks will take place across Cumbria as part of The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick 2021 organised by conservation charity Friends of the Lake District. 

Ruth Kirk, landscape engagement officer for Friends of the Lake District said: 

“During the pandemic, many of us discovered the importance for our well-being of spending time in nature. Unfortunately, in the Lake District, this led to a huge increase in littering, anti-social behaviour and fly camping around lakes. 

“An army of selfless volunteers amongst our communities were forced to tidy up after others and organisations who look after the Lake District are having to divert staff time and resources into clearing up. We need to get the message out to the minority of people who behave in this way that this is unacceptable”. 

In addition to organising the Great Cumbrian Litter Pick, Friends of the Lake District has commissioned a research study from Keep Britain Tidy. The data from the study will lead not only to understanding more about out why people leave litter but importantly, will recommend and develop messages and interventions that can be put in place to change behaviours, helping to protect the spectacular landscapes of the Lake District. 

Kate Willshaw, policy officer for Friends of the Lake District, leading on the research said: 

“The results of the study are due in mid-June. We are anticipating the possibility that we will face the same issues around littering and anti-social behaviour again this year and beyond so it is vital that we research and develop long-term solutions. Simply clearing up after people is not sustainable for communities or for the countryside.” 

Anyone can take part in The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick either by setting up their own community litter pick or by joining one of the organised ones. 

The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick 2021 is kindly sponsored by Smartwool Europe and EOCA