Council supports rearranged community clean-ups

21 August 2020

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) has pledged its support for the Great British September Clean - reorganised after the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year forced the postponement of the Great British Spring Clean.

Run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the campaign will run from 11 - 27 September.

Volunteers, local authorities, charities and businesses had promised to support the campaign, with 600,000 people set to take action to clean up streets, parks and beaches across the country.

Now, to ensure that the Great British September Clean complies with the Government guidance in relation to COVID-19, this year’s clean-up will be amended slightly to ensure the very greatest level of health and safety for all participants.

You can get involved and show support for the Great British September Clean by:

  • Organising a private clean-up with up to five other family and friends; or
  • Pledging to do your own individual clean-up.

SLDC has supported the initiative since it was launched in 2017 and can help interested groups to become involved.

The council is able to loan out, subject to availability, litter picking equipment such as litter pickers, hi-vis jackets and gloves.

SLDC will provide rubbish collection sacks to all litter picks and arrange the collection of the waste collected.

The council is also happy to assist with litter pick events at any time of the year through lending and collection of equipment.

Councillor Dyan Jones, SLDC’s portfolio holder for Climate Emergency and Localism, said: "It is great to see this Keep Britain Tidy campaign back after being postponed earlier in the year. Litter-picking is a really worthwhile activity with many benefits to our communities and the people taking part."

"As a council, we are more than happy to assist volunteers with The Great British September Clean and I would urge anybody to think seriously about taking part. You can even do an individual clean-up on your own and it doesn’t need to take a long time. Every minute will make a difference.

“It is important that we all take pride in where we live. We live in a beautiful area and we want it to stay that way. That’s why we have a key Council Plan commitment to work to protect our natural environment."

To arrange to borrow equipment or collection of filled rubbish bags, please email:

Keep Britain Tidy: find out more about the Great British Spring Clean.


Why is the Great British September Clean important?

There are lots of reasons why it’s important to get involved. More than 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped in the UK every day, with litter blighting our streets, parks and beaches and costing us nearly £1 billion a year to clear up – yet it’s entirely preventable.

Litter can also harm wildlife. The RSPCA received 7,400 calls to report incidents of animals injured by litter in 2018 in England and Wales. Around 80 per cent of the plastic in our oceans comes from litter dropped inland – you can be part of the solution and help ensure the plastic doesn’t reach the sea.

Taking part in the Great British September Clean is also good for your own well-being and connecting with others in your community. In 2019, 83 per cent of the #LitterHeroes surveyed said they felt more pride in their local area after taking part and 84 per cent said they would encourage other people that they know or meet not to drop litter.

Litter-picking can be carried out alone, in pairs or small groups of up to a maximum of six, including yourself, based on the current Government guidance for meeting with people outside of your household.

Guidance for volunteers working in small groups:

  • Individuals currently shielding, in ‘at risk’ groups or displaying symptoms (or in contact with those with symptoms) or have been directly advised to self-isolate should not litter-pick.
  • Bring your own gloves.
  • Wash hands before and after at home or nearby w/c facilities.
  • Carry hand sanitiser if you have access to some.
  • Stay at least one metre from fellow volunteers and members of the public.
  • Don’t pick up sharps objects.
  • Litter should be tied up in a strong waste sack.
  • If taking a litter-picker home at end of the clean-up, sanitize before storing.