Lydiate and its volunteer litter pickers

There’s a band of volunteer litter pickers in the community I live in and they go out regularly to try to keep Lydiate clean. They don’t ask for recognition and unless you see them doing their bit you might think our reasonably litter free community is being kept clean by ‘the council’.

Some impressive lengths of roads are litter picked by the volunteers and sadly they are always kept busy because a certain section of our society seems to think that chucking litter, bottles, dog poo bags etc. is a positive contribution to local life. They love throwing litter out of the windows of moving vehicles or picking up dog poo where they think they may be seen only to then deposit the very same bags anywhere they can’t be seen. The participants in these anti-social activities must feel they have a social duty to keep ‘the council’s’ street cleaners busy and in work. However, the reality is that councils do much less litter picking these days as they’ve cut back on such work to try to better fund other vital work such as paying for children in care and social care for the elderly. These two council activities cost an arm and a leg no matter which party runs ‘the council’.

I’m not trying to make excuses for ‘the council’ but having been a Borough Councillor for 16 years (1999 – 2015), 7 of those as a Council Leader, I know how desperately stretched nearly all councils are and why the likes of street cleaning has slipped down their list of priorities. It’s not a good situation but sadly it’s reality. Of course that’s why in so many communities volunteers can now often be the backbone of keeping our streets clean.

I have nothing but admiration for the work of Lydiate’s volunteer litter pickers many of whom do far more than my own very limited contribution.

I look after a footpath which connects Southport Road, Marshalls Close and Coppull Road and I litter pick it around once a month. I did it yesterday and despite only doing it around 3 weeks ago I still collected half a back bin bag of rubbish and litter. I know this path is well used but it’s also secluded so I’m guessing that a very small minority of its users chuck all the litter along it on the basis that with a quick look around to check no one can see them they can just drop whatever they want – and they do.

Whenever I see litter my mind goes back to my favourite author Bill Bryson and his book Notes from a Small Island. Bill, on travelling to Liverpool happened to do so whilst there was an industrial dispute on-going between refuse/street cleaners and the City Council. Liverpool was indeed a mess at that time and he dubbed it a ‘festival of litter’. Sadly, whilst that situation was subsequently resolved there are a small number in our society who have opted out of civic life to create work for those who really care about their community. I fear that the volunteer litter pickers will be doing their rounds for a long time to come because some in our society really can’t give a damn!

Lydiate – Update on volunteer litter picking activities


I attended a meeting of Lydiate Parish Council last night and was pleased to see hear an update on Lydiate’s volunteer litter pickers.

We agreed as a Parish Council to put £250 to one side to assist the volunteer litter pickers with the items they need to purchase to continue their great work in the community.

Below is a report of the last litter picking day:-

It went very well thank you, with more to come.

So this time we collected 11 bin bags of rubbish, covering the areas of;

Southport Road
Lambshear Lane
Part of Moss Lane
Pygons Hill Lane
St Catherine’s Abbey
The Canal bank.

All safely gathered in.

Someone will do Northway and Liverpool Road (I think) this week, and also behind the Weld Blundell pub and some of Moss Lane.

It is hard to put into words quite what an effect this visually has on the
area of Lydiate. What does come out is the expressions of thanks from the
passing public. Incidentally, we are not alone. I have heard there are some
‘lone wolves’ out there who do their own sections of Lydiate. I would love
to know who they are, so that I can both join them to this email so they may
know what else is happening in the area, but also from a practical view so
that we don’t cover ground they are already covering.

I am also aware that the Scouts did a section of the Cheshire Lines, well
done to them as well.

The next joint date then is Saturday 29 October 11.00 meeting at Lydiate
Village Centre at 11.00 (always the last Saturday of the month – same time).

Once again thank you all so much for caring for the surroundings where you
live. It is great to see the difference,