Litter-pickers clear up 'nine baby elephants'
PUBLISHED: 14:57 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 03 January 2020
Litter-pick volunteers have collected the equivalent of nine baby elephants of rubbish in the final six months of the year.
The Thorpe Marriott, Taverham and Drayton group picked up more than 930kg of rubbish since July with the help of 136 volunteers.
In the new year, the group will be looking to help its youngest members achieve their green Blue Peter badge which will allow them to access 200 UK attractions for free.
The group was started up in 2018 by Sarah Piercy, who made a call earlier this year for more people to support the group.
Stacy Bradley took over as co-ordinator and said the community and business involved had grown quicker that she expected.
Miss Bradley said: "I wanted to make the area have more community spirit, I didn't feel it had much of that. I just wanted to get the community engaging and achieving. It's taken off quicker than I thought it would.
"People's response has been so lovely as well. People have made friends and have started to spend time with each other outside of the group. We want to reduce isolation as well and be part of the area round them.
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"I think the reason litter-picks have been so successful is because we do not moan about the litter. We're not moaning or trying to drum it into people.
"It's about coming together as a community achieving things as a whole group. I want people to be interested and come along."
Since July there have been 18 sponsored litter picks, during which 228 bin bags have been filled.
The group hosts three litter-picks a month, in Taverham, Drayton and Thorpe Marriott.
Miss Bradley, who runs the group with Diana Perry, hopes she can encourage more businesses in the area to support litter picks by sponsoring an event.
The mum-of-two said: "2020 will see this initiative develop and grow, and will be an example to communities across the country on how to make their communities sustainable.
"It has been incredible to lead such a strong team and to meet so many amazing people along the way.
"Thank you Sarah Piercy for starting the litter picking group in 2018 and allowing me to carry it on, despite having never attended a litter pick or even noticing a problem with the litter locally."