You set a new record! 390,000 people sign up to Mail clean-up campaign

You set a new record for the Great British Spring Clean! 390,000 people sign up to Mail campaign including 144,000 schoolchildren

The Daily Mail’s Great British Spring Clean received a huge boost yesterday as it was revealed 144,711 schoolchildren have joined the campaign.

It brings the total of people signed up to the litter pick to 389,921.

The huge figure comes as the Government announces it will allocate £9.75 million to allow every council in the UK to support clean-ups in their local areas.

Litter-pick organiser Natasha Ray is pictured with pupils of Springdale First School in Poole, Dorset. From Blakeney Point in Norfolk to Sutton Park in London, the nation is gearing up for the biggest clean-up the land has ever seen [File photo]

The grants range from £194,000 for Birmingham, Britain’s biggest local authority, to £2,396 for the Isles of Scilly.

The Government said it wanted to make littering ‘culturally unacceptable within a generation’.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP said: ‘We know that communities care passionately about their streets and we’ve listened to local volunteer-led groups looking for extra support in their efforts to tackle the litter besmirching their beautiful boroughs.

‘The Daily Mail has led a fantastic drive in support of Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean campaign, and I am hugely grateful to all the readers who have signed up to join the war on litter.

The Great British Spring Clean organised by Keep Britain Tidy will begin next Friday, March 22, and run for a month until April 23. The total is already more than the 370,000 who signed up for last year’s campaign [File photo]

‘I really hope that as many people as possible take part and support these brilliant efforts.’

The Great British Spring Clean organised by Keep Britain Tidy will begin next Friday, March 22, and run for a month until April 23.

The total is already more than the 370,000 who signed up for last year’s campaign, and takes us closer to the goal of signing up half a million people.

Events have been organised around the country. From Blakeney Point in Norfolk to Sutton Park in London, from the Isle of Wight to Derbyshire, the nation is gearing up for the biggest clean-up the land has ever seen.

The campaign has been backed by Prime Minister Theresa May, Prince William and TV stars including Mary Berry and Prue Leith.

Conservationists including Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Bear Grylls have also voiced their support for the environmental clean-up.


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And this week the president of the United Nations Environment Assembly, Siim Kiisler, commended the campaign for sending out a ‘strong message’ that littering is unacceptable.

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘Wow, a week to go before we kick off and a staggering 389,000 people have already volunteered to be part of our Great British Spring Clean.

‘This overwhelming response shows just how important the campaign has become to people across the country.

‘I am inspired by the next generation who seem crystal clear that they will do a better job of protecting their environment than we have.

‘We are delighted that the Government has recognised the scale and importance of our Great British Spring Clean and has committed £9.75 million to help councils support our army of volunteers with equipment and training.

‘Our litter heroes’ inspirational efforts, backed by this investment, sends a clear message that enough is enough – we want to see parks, beaches, playgrounds and streets without litter pollution and are ready to make that happen.’

Meet little litter heroes tackling grown-ups’ mess 

I turn rubbish into rockets

Ricardo Hall, five, lives with his parents Olivia, 29, a retail manager and Ricardo, 39, an estate agent in North London. Two years ago he came up with the idea of junk modelling

Ricardo Hall, five, lives with his parents Olivia, 29, a retail manager and Ricardo, 39, an estate agent in North London.

Ricardo: It makes me really sad to see litter. It’s not very good for animals or sea life. I love turtles best because they are such good swimmers. So I want to save them.

Instead of throwing rubbish away, I make useful things. It’s fun and it stops the rubbish hurting animals. I’ve got hundreds of models. 

My favourite is a rocket I made from plastic bottles. But I also stop people dropping litter. I tell my friends it’s bad. And, when I caught Mummy dropping an empty juice carton on the street the other day I told her off.

Mum Olivia: We taught Ricardo from a very early age not to drop litter. But he’s taken it a step further.

Two years ago he came up with the idea of junk modelling. Now nothing goes to waste.

He spends at least five hours a week making models. They all have names and he’s very proud of them.

Who’ll clean up if I don’t?

Ethan Head, ten, lives with his parents, Laura, 35, a teaching assistant and Lee, 45, a salesman in Sudbury, Suffolk.

Ethan: I like my town being clean and I hate seeing rubbish. But if I don’t clean up, no one else will. 

Four years ago, I looked out at the park opposite my house and I got so cross I decided to clean it up.

Ethan Head, ten, lives with his parents, Laura, 35, a teaching assistant and Lee, 45, a salesman in Sudbury, Suffolk. He spends two hours most weekends clearing the park [File photo]

I have my own litter grabber. I spend two hours most weekends clearing the park. 

I can easily fill three dustbin bags. It’s so heavy I wrote to a local factory to ask for a trolley to load the rubbish in.

I would like to invent a bin that would smile and say ‘Thank you’ when someone puts rubbish in.

Dad Lee: We are so proud of Ethan. He was just six when he told us he was sick of seeing rubbish everywhere and wanted to do something about it. We never guessed he would still be going strong four years later.

Grown-ups are ruining the world

Luca Bondi, nine, lives with his parents, Caroline, 51, a personal assistant and Jim, 51, a landscape gardener, in St Austell, Cornwall

.Luca Bondi, nine, lives with his parents, Caroline, 51, a personal assistant and Jim, 51, a landscape gardener, in St Austell, Cornwall.

Luca: I started beach cleaning with my dad when I was six. What we find is just disgusting. I don’t want to be mean, but it really surprises me grown-ups can be such absolute idiots. 

Don’t they understand all this rubbish is slowly destroying the world?

Dad and I join a group of about 30 on Fistral Beach one Saturday a month. 

After three hours we have a hot chocolate in the cafe. We easily fill five big rubbish sacks.

I hope one day I will go and find the beach all clean.

Dad Jim: Luca is so passionate about the environment, he was even out litter picking on Christmas Eve. We’d taken his sledge to the beach. 

But instead of jumping on the sledge himself, he started loading it with all abandoned nets and other fishing paraphernalia.

Bag a day keeps the litter away

Heather Kent, 11, lives in Fairford, Gloucestershire, with her parents Julie, 40, an assistant shop manager and Bob, 57, a painter and decorator. Her biggest single haul is 295 plastic bottles from a lay-by

Heather Kent, 11, lives in Fairford, Gloucestershire, with her parents Julie, 40, an assistant shop manager and Bob, 57, a painter and decorator.

Heather: People worry about how plastic’s endangering sea life but I’ve seen with my own eyes how it’s harming wild animals. I found a squirrel eating plastic in the woods. It could have killed him and it made me really upset.

I just don’t understand why people drop litter. It’s really upsetting that it’s often adults and older children who are just too lazy to go to a bin.

I decided to do something positive last year. Instead of giving up chocolate or crisps for Lent, I decided to fill a carrier bag with litter every day.

When Lent ended, there was no way I could stop, because I’d already made such a difference. I have a little motto: ‘A bag a day keeps the litter away.’ I carry a plastic bag with me when I walk my dog, Alice, and pick up fallen rubbish.

If an area needs a serious clean, I persuade my parents or friends to help. My biggest single haul is 295 plastic bottles from a lay-by.

Mum Julie: Heather’s famous in the village as our little eco-warrior. She’s just passionate about the environment and eager to educate people. She’s certainly educated me.

It makes me cross seeing plastic bottles in the sea

Phoebe Davis, eight, and brother, Luke, ten, live with parents Kirsty, 41, a teaching assistant, and Paul, 46, a physics teacher, in St Saviour, Guernsey.

Phoebe: I love the beach which I see from my classroom window and when it’s covered in rubbish it makes me sad. That’s why I always take a plastic bag to pick up rubbish when I play on the beach.

Phoebe Davis, eight, and brother, Luke, ten, live with parents Kirsty, 41, a teaching assistant, and Paul, 46, a physics teacher, in St Saviour, Guernsey. Mum Kirsty says they see it as their job to help keep their beach clean

Some of the stuff people leave behind is disgusting, like nappies. Why would someone treat our lovely beach like that?

Luke: I love surfing and kayaking so it makes me cross when there are loads of plastic bottles floating on the sea.

We pick up litter whenever we see it and go out at least once a week on a special litter hunt. The biggest haul has been three big carrier bags of rubbish.

Mum Kirsty: When we’re out on a beach walk, they will scamper over the rocks and emerge with a plastic rope or crisp packets. All the publicity about the harmful effect of litter on the environment has made a huge impact. They see it as their job to help keep their beach clean.

Interviews by Tessa Cunningham 

Could your child win £1,000?

We’re offering an exciting prize to three children under 14 judged to have made the most significant contribution to litter collecting over the course of at least a year. The winners will receive £1,000 plus a UK holiday for their family.

The competition will be judged by a panel comprising representatives from the Daily Mail, Keep Britain Tidy and a celebrity passionate about litter and plastic reduction.

To enter, email or write to explain in no more than 100 words why you think you or your nominee should win the prize. Include contact details for yourself and, if relevant, your nominee. Attach as many photos or illustrations as you wish to support your entry.

Send your entry by the end of Saturday, April 20, by emailing [email protected] or writing to Great British Spring Clean Competitions, Daily Mail Marketing, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry St, London W8 5TT. 

Terms and conditions apply, please visit dailymail.co.uk/springcleancomp for more information.

 

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