Litter picking events to join in the UK

Give the countryside a helping hand by taking part in a litter picking event with our round-up of campaigns taking place in the UK in 2019.

Beach clean

From beaches strewn with little to river chocked with plastic and mountain tops covered with abandoned rubbish, litter is a major problem not just in the UK but worldwide.

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If you hate seeing the impact of littering on our countryside, here are several litter picking events you can get involved with in 2019.

How big is the litter problem in the UK?

Fly-tipping in England is on the rise with one million incidents reported in 2017 – the equivalent of nearly 114 every hour.

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These figures show a 7% increase from 2016, making it the fourth year in a row where fly-tipping has increased, according to figures released by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

Fly-tipping and general littering has a dangerous impact on the UK’s wildlife, with the RSPCA receiving on average 7,000 calls a year with litter-related incidents involving wildlife.

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Littering picking events to join

Join a Keep Britain Tidy litter pick: nationwide, various dates

Previous campaigns run by Keep Britain Tidy include the Great Plastic Pick Up and Great Spring clean, which aim to encourage communities, schools, families and individuals to join together to clean up litter in beauty spots, with a focus on plastic pollution. Keep Britain Tidy organise various litter picks and cleans throughout the year at various locations nationwide  – or you can even get help and organise your own. www.keepbritaintidy.org

Roadside Litter Campaign: annually, Scotland

The Roadside Litter Campaign takes place each May to raise awareness of littering in Scotland. According to the organiser Keep Scotland Beautiful, 82.8% of UK roads are impacted by litter, and this week long campaign has been backed by managers of the famous North Coast 500 in Scotland. The campaign encourages drivers to keep their litter in their car until they find somewhere to dispose of it properly. www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org

The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick, annually

In July, charity Friends of the Lake District hosts the Great Cumbrian Litter Pick, which encourages Cumbrian communities to come together to clean up the beautiful county. This year TV presenter Paul Rose is heading up the campaign. www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk

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Love East Suffolk Campaign: annually

The Love East Suffolk Campaign encourages volunteers to get involved and keep their environment clean and tidy. The campaign runs until May 31 and aims to reward individuals and communities who carry out voluntary litter picking. www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/waste/litter/love-east-suffolk

RSPCA Animal Kindness Campaign: ongoing

The Animal Kindness Campaign encourages people to do their bit for wildlife by providing practical advice about what they can do to ensure that all animals are better protected and cared for. Whether it be picking up a piece of litter to prevent injuries, making your garden wildlife friendly.

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How to join a beach clean

Beach cleaning events to join in 2019

Help keep the coast tidy by taking part in a beach clean – here is a selection of beach cleaning events taking place in 2019.

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Litter pollution on the Isle of Wight/Credit: Getty images

How to promote your litter picking event

We will be adding to our list and are keen to help, so if you have a local litter picking event you’d like to promote, please let us know by email editor@countryfile.com or via our social media channels.