Campaign takes aim at litter

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A campaign has been launched in Sleaford to help make the town ‘litter free’.

Sleaford Be Litter Free was set up on Facebook last month to, in its words, ‘create a litter-busting movement to clean the streets of Sleaford’.

Its origins can be found in a planned family day out to Sleaford Castle, as the town’s Mel Stanley explains.

She said: “We moved into Sleaford about six months ago as we needed to be near our daughter and her three young children. My five-year-old grandson was interested in the Sleaford Castle site, he loves learning about buildings. I explained that I would find out about the castle and we would have a walk around the site to explore. I went to have a walk around by myself and was dismayed by the huge amount of litter there and decided I could not take him to look until it was cleared.”

Mel, 69, and husband Bob, 72, set about clearing the site, removing many bags of litter.

They subsequently tackled other areas, including: a couple of passageways in Southfields, the ditch opposite The William Alvey CofE School, over the railings in Nags Head Passage, the riverbank next to Sainsbury’s, and West Banks.

Helping them from time to time has been Lorraine Rear, of Leasingham.

What has made this community-spirited endeavour more of a movement, however, is the use of social media.

Mel said: “I post photos of our efforts on social media and to the Town Council to try to encourage people to think about having a go themselves, and to really think about this litter and plastic problem, which we all face.”

The Facebook page, set up by Mel and Bob’s daughter, allows people to post photographs of their efforts and advertise any litter-picking events, Mel explains.

“People are supportive on Facebook and I know some people have braved doing a bit of litter picking themselves after seeing our efforts,” she said.

Mel was quick to praise the work done by the Town Council – saying it had a ‘brilliant’ and ‘dedicated’ team, but added: “They can’t do it all, and really need help from the community’.

She said she would like to see neighbours come together to tackle patches as a group.

“We would really have preferred to do this without drawing attention to ourselves,” she said. “I want to just go for a walk along the riverside and round Castle Field and enjoy the wildlife and take my grandchildren, without being faced with litter; but we all, as a society, need to engage the whole community in thinking about improving the litter and plastic situation and supporting the Town Council to achieve a cleaner environment for Sleaford.”