MORE than 250 Ringwood volunteers rolled up their sleeves to spruce up the town during a litter pick last weekend. 

In total 190 sacks of litter were collected by people representing 24 local organisations.

A team of eagle-eyed experts pinpointed litter hotspots using Google maps, and groups headed off to 31 different locations with litter pickers, gloves and bags.

Locations included the Castlemain trailway, Carvers Recreation Ground, Poulner Common, and the A338 layby.

The event was organised by Lindsay Andrews, of Plastic Free Ringwood. She said: “After collecting so many bags of litter over the weekend, the town and surrounding countryside is noticeably cleaner.

“Amazing that we have had so many volunteers out collecting - it really should be a wake up call to people. Please, take your litter home. It’s not difficult or complicated, it’s just a small way to make the world a better place.”

“What many people have been shocked by is the amount of cigarette butts. They contain nasty chemicals and need to be disposed of safely and sensibly.”

The Groups represented included Ringwood Town Council, Plastic Free Ringwood, RACE, Ringwood 41 Club, Ringwood Rotary, Churches Together, Poulner Baptist Chapel, Ringwood Benefice, Ringwood Mens Shed, Ringwood and Fordingbridge Lions Club, Ringwood and Verwood Round Table, First Poulner Scouts, 3rd Ringwood Scouts, Greyfriars Community Centre, Ringwood Meeting House and History Centre, Sainsburys, Ringwood Carnival, Ringwood Tangent, Freemasonry Ringwood, Ringwood and Ellingham Rugby Club, Clean Up Ringwood, Carvers Clubhouse, The Carbon Cycle, Artisan Hair Studio, and residents of Ringwood and Poulner.

“I have been delighted by the support of all our community groups. It’s amazing to have so many people working together for such a great cause,” she added.

“It shows how much care and love there is for the town and it’s heartwarming to see so many people involved.”

Francis Charlton attended the event representing the Ringwood and Verwood Round Table.

“This is only part of our attempts to clean up the town,” said Francis. “We are also looking at signage to discourage littering and exploring what can be done at some of the littering hot spots like the slip roads from the A31.”

In addition to the litter, volunteers reported finding two car exhausts, a St Leonards Way sign, two shopping trolleys and a fire extinguisher.

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