Volunteer litter pickers stepping up efforts to keep St Annes beach clean as school holidays loom

A group of dedicated volunteers have stepped up their litter picking efforts and will be out and about keeping Fylde’s tourist areas clean and tidy every evening from now until the end of the school holidays.

By Tony Durkin
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 12:45 pm

They work in partnership with Fylde Council, which has invested in more bins, extra collections and additional teams ahead of the peak season for visitors.

Tracey Hope is the lead coordinator for the army of volunteers who give up their valuable free time and she is also one of Fylde Council’s environmental enforcement officers.

She said: “We are delighted to be launching our daily evening picking sessions once again and we have already seen lots of new people signing up to help us following the launch of the council’s Take It, Don’t Leave It campaign.

A group of the volunteer litter pickers at St Annes

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“We have grown considerably in the last year with lots of individuals and families joining us, which means we have been able to expand our litter picks across all the main tourist destinations in Fylde.

Volunteers of all ages, from school age children working towards their Duke of Edinburgh certificate to retirees, and everyone in between, help out whenever they can, which is really heartening to see.

“While most people do clean up after themselves, some unfortunately don’t and that can have a huge impact.

Tracey Hope, co-ordinator of the volunteer litter pickers.

“This week one of our volunteers found the remains of a huge picnic scattered across the beach including plastic bottles, empty boxes and plastic bags. Had any of this rubbish made its way into the sea it could have had fatal consequences for our marine wildlife.

“On a more positive note, one of our volunteers was approached by a family of visitors who said our beach and towns were very clean and tidy. We will be doubling and tripling our efforts to keep Fylde fabulous this summer.”

Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Council, is hugely grateful for the effort of the volunteers. She said: “We are extremely fortunate to have an amazing group of volunteers who love the area as much as we do and we are thrilled that they will be taking part in daily picks throughout summer.

“Each and every one of them makes a difference and it is always wonderful to see them out and about - they have a smile for everyone they come across.

“We are expecting another busy summer as people flock to our stunning beach and towns and we have increased the volume of bins, the number of collections and our teams will be out and about helping to educate visitors about the importance of not leaving litter behind.

“Not only does it look unsightly, but it poses a real danger to wildlife, so it is vital that we all work together to ensure any litter that is left behind is moved quickly.

“I would like to thank all of the volunteers in advance for their efforts and for helping us make our Take It, Don’t Leave It campaign a success once again.”

More information about volunteering is available here or by callking 07513 347913.