Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 09.51.07LITTER pickers young and old have been out in force to give Middlesbrough a major makeover as winter gives way to spring.

Primary school pupils, academy students and Street Champions took to the streets for a week-long tidy-up.

During a successful blitz, more than 60 children from a number of local schools took part in litter picks and cleansing in parks, open spaces becks and alleys.

Ayresome, Whinney Banks and Thorntree Primaries joined Acklam Grange students and Street Champions to collect a total of more than 70 bags of litter.

Areas targeted included Thorntree Park, Bluebell Beck and Ayresome Gardens.

Councillor Tracy Harvey, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Environment, said: “It was a hugely successful week which really showed what community spirit is all about.

“The young people and the Street Champions have made a really positive impact on their local environment and I’m grateful to everyone who took part for their efforts.”

Meanwhile the Friends of Stewart Park were joined by staff and students from Unity City Academy for a litter pick in the historic park which will play host to the peloton of the Tour de Yorkshire on Sunday, May 1.

After an hour and a half of hard work they had amassed 15 bags of litter along with old tyres, polystyrene sheeting and various other dumped items.

UCA Pastoral Team Leader Tracey Conner said: “Our young people have been coming to Stewart Park for almost seven months now and really enjoy being part of the WildXscapes project.

“They have learned not only how to use a range of hand tools, but are also learning how to work as a team, have gained confidence and improved communication skills.”

Stewart Park Horticultural Advisor Nicky Morgan said: “The work of our WildXscapes Rangers plays a vital role in maintaining the many important green corridors throughout Middlesbrough which are home to many diverse habitats.

“This tidy up in Stewart Park helped to remove debris which had collected along Ladgate Lane, just in time for nesting birds and spring blooms – not to mention the Tour de Yorkshire.”

The spring cleans formed part of a series of events across the country co-ordinated by Keep Britain Tidy in the build-up to the Queen’s 90th birthday in June.