Litter Heroes from across Darlington and County Durham are set to take to the streets and green spaces for this year’s ‘Big Spring Clean’.

LitterFree Durham & Darlington has once again teamed up with Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council to inspire local residents, community groups, schools and businesses to give their area a spring clean in the annual litter-picking campaign.

This year’s campaign will be kicked off with launch events in Darlington and Durham, with the theme ‘plastics in rivers to oceans’ to highlight the fact 80 per cent of litter dropped on the land ends up in the ocean.

In Darlington, volunteers will gather at Darlington Rugby Club for a litter pick along the river to Snipe Pond and Lakeside. In County Durham, a series of litter picks will be held along the coast, including Crimdon Dene Beach and Seaham Beach.

This year’s Big Spring Clean, will run from 2 March to 1 May and will see litter picks organised across Darlington and County Durham.

During last year’s Big Spring Clean more than 1,090 people took part in 68 events in the Darlington area, with more than 1,100 bags of litter collected; while in County Durham 3,041 volunteers took part in 204 litter picks, and collected more than 3,000 bags of rubbish.

Councillor Gerald Lee, chair of LitterFree Durham & Darlington, said:

“Every year we’ve been delighted to see the numbers of people getting involved in the Big Spring Clean increase, and we’re hoping to see even more join our growing army of litter heroes for this year’s campaign.

“But even if you haven’t got the time to join an organised litter pick, we can all play our part by either making sure you bin your litter or take it home.”

Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, added:

“We’re delighted to once again be working with LitterFree Durham & Darlington and Durham County Council for this year’s Big Spring Clean.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the efforts of all those who take part and to those who help keep our streets clean all year round.”

Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said:

“Eighty per cent of the litter people drop on the land ends up in the ocean, which not only makes our beautiful beaches look untidy, but endangers marine creatures and can lead to plastic entering the food chain.

“I am delighted the Big Spring Clean is focusing on this important issue for its launch events. The campaign has enjoyed great success in previous years, thanks to the hard work and generosity of the people of County Durham and Darlington. I am sure we will make a big difference again this year.”

Join in your nearest litter pick in Darlington – events confirmed so far include:

  • Maidendale – 22 February, 10am start. Meet in the nature reserve car park, Salters Lane (down past Cummins)
  • Pensbury St – 22 February, 10.30am-noon. Meet outside 65 Pensbury Street.
  • Darlington Rugby Club – 25 February, 10am-noon. Meet in the car park, Blackwell Meadows. The rugby club is kindly providing refreshments. (Launch event)
  • Newton lane – 26 February, 9.30am start. Meet on the green area next to Newton Lane/ Jedburgh Drive.
  • Broken Scar – 28 February, 10am-noon. Meet at the Teesdale Way entrance to Broken Scar, off Blackwell.
  • Rockwell – 29 February, 10am-noon. Meet at Hutton Avenue Footbridge.
  • £5 Note Bridge – 2 March, 10am-noon.  Meet at Field Street.
  • South Park – 4 March, 10am-noon. Meet outside the Clock Tower.
  • The Denes – 7 March, 10am-noon. Meet in the Play Dene (Widdowfield Street), organised by Friends of the Denes.
  • Cockerbeck – 17 March 10am-noon. Meet in the car park opposite Edgecombe Drive.
  • North Park – 19 March, 10am-noon. Meet at Cumberland Street entrance.
  • North Lodge Park – 23 March, 10am-noon. Meet at the bandstand.
  • Blackwell Lane – 26 March, 10am-noon. Meet on Blackwell Lane between Grangeside and the lane to the hotel.
  • Baydale Beck – 30 March, 10am-noon. Meet in the layby near Baydale Beck Inn.
  • Tommy Crooks Park – 2 April, 10am-noon. Meet at Harris Street entrance to the park.
  • Walworth – 5 April, 10am-noon. Meet at The Grange.
  • West Park – 7 April, 10am-noon. Meet at the main entrance off West Auckland Road.
  • Red Hall – 9 April, 10am-noon.  Meet at the entrance off Coombe Drive (near Deepdale Way).
  • Eastbourne Park – 14 April, 10am-noon. Meet outside the park café.
  • £5 Note Bridge – 16 April, 10am-noon. Meet at Field Street.
  • The Whinnies – 17 April, 10am-noon. Meet at the turning circle on Woolsington Drive, Middleton St George
  • The Denes – 18 April, 10am-noon. Meet in the Play Dene (Widdowfield Street), organized by Friends of the Denes.
  • Green Lane – 20 April 10am-noon. Meet at the entrance to Green Lane, off Glebe Road.
  • Aberdeen Road – 23 April, 10am-noon. Meet on Aberdeen Road.
  • Sadberge Village – 25 April, 10am-noon. Meeting point to be confirmed.
  • Sugar Hill – 27 April, 10am-noon. Meet at the park entrance off Stooperdale Avenue.
  • Baydale Beck – 30 April, 10am-noon. Meet at Staindrop Road/ Edgecombe Drive.
  • Broken Scar – 1 May, 10am-noon. Meet in the top car park near the play area.

Alternatively you can take part in the latest Pick, Pie and a Pint events in the town, as follows:

  • Friday 6 March – town centre, 4-5.30pm. Meet outside the Dolphin Centre.
  • Wednesday 18 March – Haughton, 10am-1pm. Meet outside the Grey Horse, Haughton.
  • Friday 3 April – town centre, 4-5.30pm. Meet outside the Dolphin Centre.
  • Wednesday 22 April – North Road/Harrowgate Hill, 11am-12.30pm. Meet at top of Lansdowne Street, near North Park.
  • Friday 1 May – town centre, 4-5.30pm. Meet outside the Dolphin Centre.

Join Darlington Cares for a litter pick to help your local community and get a pie and a pint (or a soft drink and something healthy) for FREE. For more details and to register email Chelsea.Johnson@darlington.gov.uk

Pupils from schools across the Darlington area will also be taking part in this year’s Big Spring Clean.

To register to help clean up your local area or arrange a litter pick, email litterfreedurham@darlington.gov.uk or call 01325 406719. We will also share details of other community litter picks on Facebook and Twitter.

To find out more about litter picks in County Durham, visit www.durham.gov.uk/bigspringclean, email litterfreedurham@durham.gov.uk or call 03000 26 0000.  

Photo caption: Volunteers ready for action at last year’s Big Spring Clean launch in Darlington’s South Park.