THEY hunted high and low for crisp packets, chip papers and sweet wrappers – but all they found was one lonely lolly stick.
It was a litter-pick with a difference for residents in Elswick as the village proved just why it was judged the cleanest place in the whole North West last year.
Dozens of residents turned out for the annual clean-up, but after an afternoon of hunting all they found to collect was one discarded lolly stick.
Parish council chairman Paul Hayhurst said: “While it may seem to have been a waste of an afternoon the result was actually most gratifying. Credit must go to the village’s lengthsman Andrew Atkinson who does an excellent job in keeping the village clean and tidy. His efforts are much appreciated by villagers who take a real pride in living in a litter free environment.
“In Elswick it is a common sight to see people actually pick up litter in the street and put it in a bin.”
The village scooped the coveted Clean Sweep award from the Britain in Bloom judges last year after they also failed to find a scrap of litter during their visit.
And Elswick also won best kept medium sized village in the Lancashire Best Kept Village competition – a title they’re keen to defend.
Coun Hayhurst added: “With judging starting this week in the Lancashire Best Kept Village competition and the village participating in the Britain in Bloom national final later in the summer, it is heartening to see that we are maintaining standards.
“This should stand us in good stead.”
Elswick is competing against five other villages from across the UK in this year’s Britain in Bloom final, with the judges set to visit the village on Friday, August 5.