New Facebook group hoping to clean up Northamptonshire sees new members surge

'It's not a new problem but the amount of it we've seen during lockdown has been unbelievable'

A new Facebook group aiming to clean up litter in Northamptonsshire has been set up with nearly 600 people joining in three weeks.

Northamptonshire Litter Wombles was launched on January 21, to bring together those who wanted to improve the environment and raise awareness.

Members are encouraged to collect rubbish on their daily walks during lockdown but there are plans to organise group litter picks once the restrictions allow them.

How the area by Dragonfly Lake after being cleaned up by Sally Romain

Sally Romain, from the group, said: "We go out day after day - I live near Abington Park in Northampton and I can walk through the park to the Washlands and fill a black bag every day on the same stretch.

"It's an ongoing issue so we want to raise people's awareness about litter picking reporting fly-tipping but I think it will go on to raise awareness about and the impact on the environment.

"It's not a new problem but the amount of it we've seen during lockdown has been unbelievable."

Northamptonshire Litter Wombles came from the Northamptonshire Walks Facebook group, which has surged to 17,500 members during the coronavirus pandemic.

Litter found by Sally Romain on a recent walk to Dragonfly Lake in Northampton

The members wanted to do something about all the litter they saw on their walks so they banded together to share their litter picks, inspired by the classic television show, The Wombles.

Sally said it has quickly grown with more and more people joining from all over the county, showing how many people do care about the state of the environment.

"Through the lockdowns, people's pace of life has become slower and we can walk more so we want to improve the town and open spaces," she said.

The group has organised a Zoom meeting with borough councillors, contractors and others to talk about the issue and how to tackle the root causes at 7pm tonight (Thursday, February 11).

Anyone interested in joining the meeting should email Sally on [email protected], and those who wish to find out more about the group should visit facebook.com/groups/421049525826164.