Take action: litter picking events to join

Give the countryside a helping hand this spring and summer by taking part in a litter picking event with our round-up of campaigns around the UK in 2018


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


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. 

If you hate seeing the impact of littering on our countryside, here are several litter picking events you can get involved in in 2018

The Great Plastic Pick Up – 11th to 13th May

The Great Plastic Pick Up campaign aims to encourage communities, schools, families and individuals to join together from 11 to 13 May to clean up litter in beauty spots, with a focus on plastic pollution. 

Roadside Litter Campaign – 12th to 20th May

The Roadside Litter Campaign takes place from 12th to 20th 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. 

The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick – 6th July

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. To find out how to get involved visit here.

Love East Suffolk Campaign – until 31 May

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. Register your litter pick via the website.  

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.

We will be adding to our list, so if you have a local litter picking event you’d like to promote, please let us know via editor@countryfile.com 

Take part in a beach clean

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

The UK’s beaches are also severely affected by litter. To find out how you can get involved in an organised beach clean, see our round-up of beach cleaning events. 


Main image credit: Getty images