If you would like to help keep your local area clean and free from litter, then it couldn't be easier to get involved! On this page you'll find details of local groups who hold community litter picks, as well as details of upcoming litter picking events around the district.
Lewes and Eastbourne councils are pleased to offer free advice and equipment for residents and community groups who would like to join in with litter picking in their local area. We can provide litter pickers, bag hoops, bags (disposable ones, as well as reusable bags for recyclable litter), advice on Health and Safety, and help risk-assessing your event.
To request support with a volunteer litter pick or to ask for details of your group to be added to this page please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Local volunteer litter picking groups
Kingston Action Group have been picking litter from the roads around Kingston and, more recently from parts of the A27, for more than 10 years. If you would like to join them, contact email@example.com. They have pickers and bags but no set routine. They pick when the need arises which is regularly.
Landport Residents Association hold regular litter picks on the last Sunday of the month with refreshments provided, and everybody is welcome! You'll find details of the next LRA litter pick (as well as their other events) on the Landport Residents Association facebook.
Plastic Free Seaford (part of the national Surfers Against Sewage campaign) hold monthly beach cleans on Seaford Beach and are always keen to see new faces joining in. They meet at different ends of the beach each month so be sure to check the Plastic Free Seaford facebook (or contact firstname.lastname@example.org) where you will also find details of the group's regular community meetings and other events.
The Ditchling Society exists to provide a village forum to conserve and secure against threats, for this and future generations, that which is best and most distinctive about Ditchling's architectural, artistic, cultural and scenic heritage. And to promote the provision, or improvement of the conditions, facilities and services needed for a thriving, diverse, safe and supportive community and environment in the 21st century. We hold regular litter picks in and around Ditchling and are always happy to have new volunteers joining us. For further information please email Ditchling Society email@example.com.
Litter Free Lewes - Please add yourself to the Facebook group if you'd like to join us. The goal is to clean up Lewes by: 1. Carrying out regular litter pick-ups - fortnightly if possible, 2. Preparing educational workshops, then delivering them to local schools and colleges, 3. Encouraging and helping local business to make their packaging more 'green' - both takeaways and supermarkets, 4. Working with local authorities to improve signage and bins, 5. Working with local artists to create anti-litter stencils (with respect to the local environment), 6. Tentatively looking in to bottle deposit scheme / refillable water bottle schemes. Looking forward to making new connections with people who would like a litter-free future! www.facebook.com/groups/129253344403261/about
Malling Litter Pickers - as the name implies we cover the area of South Malling, Lewes, although we have occasionally teamed up with our friends at Litter Free Lewes and picked in other areas of the town. Our group of volunteers (currently some 25 strong) usually meet on the third Sunday of the month at 10 a.m. outside Malling Stores (weather permitting) and we collect litter for about an hour or so. We have been in existence since August 2007 and have received support from Lewes District Council throughout. We are registered with the CPRE (LitterAction) and have our own page on their website. If you would like further information about Malling Litter Pickers please contact Organiser: Chris Burt firstname.lastname@example.org 01273 471731 or 07966 567260.
Mucky Mermaids - My name is Cheryl Foreman and I have spent many years litter picking on the local beaches. I make art from much of what I collect and have had a couple of exhibitions featuring some of it and have run workshops for Brownie groups, adults with learning disabilities and children using recycled materials.
After watching Blue Planet a few years ago I wanted to try to make more of an impact. So, I started Mucky Mermaids beach clean group on Facebook. I share any environmental information I think is relevant on the page and organise a beach clean on the last Sunday of every month. The venue is different every month so follow the page and check the events. @MuckyMermaids Cheryl.
Plastic Free Eastbourne - Adopt a Beach. This is a new enterprise, just 6 months old. It is unique - unlike any other Adopt a Beach schemes in other parts of the world. For example, this is the California version:
Ours is based on the fact that our beach of about 9 kilometres is divided into 94 separate beaches. Each has a number on the groyne which divides it from the others.
Here are the principles:
- A beach may have a number of Adopters: a school, a hotel or B&B, a shop or business, an organisation, individuals and families, political representatives such as local councillors
- The purpose is to care for the well-being of the beach
- There will be no legal dimension: for example, you will not have the right to “own” your adopted beach and the Council will not be charging you for this adoption.
- The adopters will be expected to be aware of each other and be encouraged to liaise
- The commitment lasts as long as the adopter wishes
- The beach owner is Eastbourne Borough Council as far down to the sea as the Mean Low Water Mark
We launched this project on 23rd October 2020. Now, no beaches have been left as “orphans”! All 94 volunteer/beaches have been set up. Not only are Adopters cleaning “their” beach regularly but some are planning to use “their” beach as a “study centre”. They might study the flora and fauna; the amount and types of debris collected over time; the activities which users of the beach undertake; the movement of the sea, tides and wave action. Creative work could include writing stories of adventure, poems of tranquillity, singing, painting, collage work, this is just a small array of the kinds of use Adopters can make on “their” beach. Where several Adopters have registered for the same beach, some are emailing each other to form groups and to socialise, increasing their campaigning in this way.
Realising that beaches are at the border of our Marine Conservation Zone, Beachy Head East. Adopters are beginning to think about our sea creatures and submarine environment off-shore. We all need to become more aware of this submarine part of our town! Adopters are also carrying out surveys of the litter they have collected. This is done on survey sheets which go via our group to Marine Conservation Society, one of our 2 charities which help our campaign.
If YOU wish to participate please contact email@example.com. You can choose your beach from the map I will send you. Then fill in the very simple proforma and return to the same email address. Once this has been approved, you are “good to go”.
Other litter picking activity
C7 Clean Up: On the weekend of 27-28 March 2021, around 50 volunteers from villages all along the Lewes-Newhaven road, donned Hi-Viz jackets and took to the verges, armed with litter picker sticks, for a concerted effort to clean up the rubbish. Groups from Kingston, Swanborough, Iford, Northease, Rodmell, Southease and Piddinghoe all collected litter on their stretches of the C7. Volunteers have been quietly working away on sections of the road for many years, but this time all the villages decided to organise a C7 Clean Up Weekend, as a concerted effort to get the rubbish cleared up before the summer starts and the verges get too overgrown to stand on. They also wanted to catch the eyes of passing motorists, to make the point that someone has to pick up all the litter which is tossed from car windows and blown off the backs of lorries. Each day, an average of 10,000 vehicles drive along the C7, a country road which winds through the beautiful Lower Ouse Valley, within the South Downs National Park. The sight of discarded drinks cans, food wrappers, plastic bags, hub caps and all the other rubbish strewn across the verges spoils the landscape for everyone.
East Sussex County Council is responsible for setting the speed limit on the C7 and for maintaining the highway and chopping the hedges. Lewes District Council is responsible for clearing the litter from the sides of the C7, but with a speed limit of 50 mph set by the county council, it is deemed too dangerous for council employees to do this work, unless the road is closed. If it is not collected, the ESCC verge-cutting machines chop the rubbish into small pieces, which easily scatter further afield. Local people are campaigning for the speed limit on the C7 to be reduced and for traffic calming measures to be put in place. This would improve safety for all road users and enable LDC to routinely collect the litter. There may be further C7 Clean Up Weekends from time to time, if and when needed. Email Scarroll1@hotmail.co.uk for details.
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