PEOPLE across the district are grabbing their litter pickers and bin bags as the Great British Spring Clean approaches.

The national scheme, which runs from March 20 until April, sees volunteers tidying up their local areas.

Winchester City Council is encouraging residents and businesses to spruce up the district and will provide high-vis jackets, litter pickers and black sacks, as well as offering to collect the rubbish bags when they are full.

People can also pledge to do a clean up when walking the dog; or parents can get kids involved when on the school run.

Last year more than 500,000 people across the country got involved, including 50 volunteers in Bishop’s Waltham who joined forces to pick up 70 sacks of rubbish.

Leader of the city council, Cllr Lucille Thompson, said: “The Great British Spring Clean is a fantastic way to make a real difference to your local environment.

“For just an hour or two of time individually, we can collectively spruce up our beautiful district. It’s a great way for communities to come together and kids love getting involved too.”

Since last autumn, a group of residents in rural Winchester have been developing a new initiative to keep their local roads free of litter all year round. They have now launched the Litter Partnership in Winchester.

The partnership brings together people, councils, schools, businesses and military personnel and is the brainchild of Tom Bristowe, a LitterHero Ambassador of Keep Britain Tidy – the charity behind the Great British Spring Clean.

“It’s the right idea at the right time,” said Tom.

“Taking responsibility for our environment is a hot and important topic for us all.

“I particularly love that children want to contribute. The Pilgrims’ School is keen to join the partnership and some of our younger volunteers are putting their litter-picking activities towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award.”

Businesses are also joining the call to arms. Web designer Jon Athill has donated his time to develop the Litter Partnership branding and website: