11 ways to get involved in Norfolk Day's Big Clean Up

Coronavirus garbage. Volunteers collecting used disposable medical masks and gloves near the bus sto

Coronavirus garbage. Volunteers collecting used disposable medical masks and gloves near the bus stop and along the highway. The problem of environmental pollution during a pandemic COVID-19 - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Norfolk Day’s Big Clean Up campaign challenges communities across our beautiful county to become the best-kept town or village champion.

It comes ahead of this year’s Norfolk Day - supported by the EDP, Norwich Evening News, and BBC Radio Norfolk – which takes place every year on July 27.

Details of how to enter your village or town will be announced soon but in the meantime, here are a few ideas and tips to get you started:

1. Respect your environment

Campaigners have described the site as King's Lynn's last truly wild place. 

Campaigners have described the site as King's Lynn's last truly wild place. - Credit: Nature Volunteer Network

Always leave animals where you find them and replace any rocks, fauna, or flora you move. If you dig holes, fill them up again, and finally watch wildlife from a distance, stay quiet, and do not disturb.

2. Beach life

Volunteers help to clean the beach at Walcott. Pictured are Michelle Duddy (left) and Delia Hubbard.

Volunteers help to clean the beach at Walcott. Pictured are Michelle Duddy (left) and Delia Hubbard. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

If cleaning up on the beach, do not take too many open shells, like mussels or limpets, and leave closed shells like whelks or periwinkles which are home to hermit crabs.

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3. Be involved in a community

Dedicated volunteers turned out in force at the latest EDP Big Coast Clean Up at Sea Palling. Volunt

Dedicated volunteers turned out in force at the latest EDP Big Coast Clean Up at Sea Palling. Volunteer and leader Michelle Duddy. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP - Credit: Archant

Why not become a Beachwatch volunteer and join a beach clean hosted by the Marine Conservation Society? There are hundreds around the country or you can set up your own.

4. Sort out your own rubbish

Bags of rubbish collected by Donna Clarke and friends along the A1067 near Fakenham 

Bags of rubbish collected by Donna Clarke and friends along the A1067 near Fakenham - Credit: Donna Clarke

Put any rubbish you collect in a nearby bin or take it with you and put it in your bin at home. If there are lots, then your district council may be able to help. Ensure that your local tip is equipped to accept the kind of rubbish you’re collecting and remember that commercial waste companies will collect rubbish for a fee. Try to separate rubbish into recyclable and non-recyclable where possible.

5. Location, location, location

The remaining debris after two separate cliff falls happened along Happisburgh Beach Picture: NEIL

The remaining debris after two separate cliff falls happened along Happisburgh Beach Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY - Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY

Beware of where you are litter picking, for example, stay away from cliffs, soft sand, and slippery rocks. Also, before heading out, think about areas where you’ve seen lots of litter in the past and make a start there. You could always ask around the local community for ideas but remember to obtain permission from the landowner where necessary.

6. Wear the correct equipment 

Donna Clarke, from Stibbard, collects litter along the A1067 near Fakenham every weekend

Donna Clarke, from Stibbard, collects litter along the A1067 near Fakenham every weekend - Credit: Ben Elwes

Strong and supportive shoes, thick gloves, and possibly some high-viz if you’re working into the evening.

7. Start a group

Volunteers take part in a litter pick in Lowestoft and Pakefield.

Volunteers take part in a litter pick in Lowestoft and Pakefield. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people are currently permitted, therefore litter picking activity can take place in groups of up to 30 people as long as existing hygiene and social distancing measures continue to be followed. Anyone with any coronavirus symptoms, or who has been in contact with anyone who has had symptoms, should follow government guidelines and stay at home. Remember to decide on an easily accessible meet-up point, close to where the litter pick is taking place.

8. Make it fun! 

'Eagle-eyed' William Powell, aged five, wants to do his bit for the environment. Pictured with his s

'Eagle-eyed' William Powell, aged five, wants to do his bit for the environment. Pictured with his sister Lara, aged seven, and friends Lucas Woodrow, also aged seven, (far left) and Joshua Woodrow, aged five, (far right). Picture: SANTOS/WOODROW FAMILY - Credit: Archant

This is the best way to encourage more volunteers, as well as making sure you’re having a good time too. To make it even more fun, you could do a sponsored litter pick where the litter-picker with the highest sponsorship wins a prize. Maybe you could enlist the help of a local celebrity? Also, most people will do anything for a cup of tea and a biscuit, so providing refreshments could make the event a success.

9. Think about who can get involved

Southwold beach. Dog walkers enjoying the sunshine.

Southwold beach. Dog walkers enjoying the sunshine. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Local community groups, people who spend a lot of time in nature like photography groups, outdoor sports groups, dog walkers, and basically anyone who takes pride in their community and is able to help can get involved.

10. Publicise an event

Volunteers were asked to record the type of PPE they picked up for the first time ever. Photo: Great

Volunteers were asked to record the type of PPE they picked up for the first time ever. Photo: Great British Beach Clean - Credit: Archant

If you are organising a group litter pick, then please email the details to donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk with the details of when it is happening.

10. Don't be afraid to ask for help

Piling up: A pile of bin bags and other rubbish in King's Lynn. Picture: Chris Bishop

Piling up: A pile of bin bags and other rubbish in King's Lynn. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

You don’t need a lot of equipment and your local council may be able to provide you with some, including litter pickers, bin bags, protective gloves, and hand sanitiser. Make sure you have a first aid kit for any accidents. 

Norfolk Day 2021 is being sponsored by Richardson's

Norfolk Day 2021 is being sponsored by Richardson's - Credit: ARCHANT

  • This year’s Norfolk Day is sponsored by Richardson’s

  • If you are organising something for Norfolk Day, no matter how big or small, then please tell us about it or share a photo so we can give it some promotion. Email norfolk.day@archant.co.uk, tweet @norfolk or use the hashtag #NorfolkDay, or visit the Norfolk Day Facebook group. 

  • Find more tips at Keep Britain Tidy and the Marine Conservation Society.

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