In the fight against litter, volunteers from across Winchester are mobilising at an increasing pace to deal with the rubbish that is strewn across roads, lane, footpaths and public spaces.

Villagers in Upham, Owslebury, South Wonston, Bishop’s Waltham, Twyford, Sutton Scotney and Crawley are forming groups to tidy their local neighbourhoods, often with the help of local organisations like the Litter Partnership in Winchester and CPRE Hampshire (the countryside charity).

Winchester City Council’s street clean contractor, idverde, provides operational support. Last year, it set up a ‘flexible litter-picking service’ to help volunteers remove rubbish collected and to provide health and safety support, especially when clearing roadside verges in rural areas.

A team of enthusiastic litter-pickers from the village of Crawley is the latest group to take advantage of this service. With idverde’s support, they cleared a stretch of the A272 which was heavily strewn with litter.

Two teams of five volunteers cleared around two miles of road in just over an hour. Idverde supplied them with hi-vis jackets, gloves and litter-picking equipment and accompanied the volunteers as they walked along the road, shielding them from the traffic. The volunteers collected over 20 bin bags of litter, plus building materials, polystyrene foam and several car parts. They also retrieved an abandoned television and a large storage box from the bushes.

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Patricia Elkington, who coordinates the Crawley Litter-Pickers, said: “Our group had already tidied the centre of the village but we were desperate to do something about the A272 approach road, which was in a terrible state and creates a poor impression to visitors. Clearing it as a team with the support of idverde was most enjoyable and it is so satisfying to have made a visible difference. Our band of volunteers in Crawley has now swelled to 36, which is remarkable for such a small village!”

Alison Kukla of CPRE Hampshire who helped coordinate the collaboration between the Crawley Litter Pickers and idverde, said: “There are many litter-picking groups forming in around the Winchester area and I would urge them to get in touch to see how idverde can support their efforts.”

Darren Davison, operations manager at idverde, said: “We were delighted to support anyone in the district of Winchester who wants to help to keep their neighbourhood clean. Patricia Elkington and the Crawley Litter-Pickers are one of a number of inspirational groups we are working with on a regular basis. It’s a pleasure to do so. We love being part of this wonderful community!”

If you or your group would like help with cleaning your local area, contact

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