Litter pickers who have been cleaning up a Hoghton beauty spot for 25 years are once again calling for help in their green crusade.
The group, supported by Chorley Council, is inviting people to meet at the picnic bench over the footbridge, on Valley Road, this Saturday and Sunday at 10am, to clean up the riverbank and footpath along Hoghton Bottoms.
Founding member Carol Price, said: “The clean up began soon after we moved here in 1992 because we were horrified at the mess the river banks were in. Initially, just myself and my husband collected litter when we took our dog out.
“We would take carrier bags with us and fill them. A few years later I read about a government scheme and got involved with the Darwen River Valley Initiative. Then The Mersey Basin Trust took over this group and through them I was able to publicise the event and borrow equipment such as litter picks and bin bags.
“We also became involved with the now abandoned Litter Trap in Witton Park. This was brilliant but the funding ran out and it is now not working.
“When the Mersey Basin Trust folded many years ago, it gave me its equipment which is still used.
“I arrange a clean up every spring. We get around 20-50 people over the weekend, depending on the weather. 46th Preston and Hoghton Scouts turn out to help.
“Recently, Chorley Council has supported the event by rewarding volunteers with Time Credits which can be spent in a variety of places, a favourite being Blackpool Tower. The council also provides bin bags.
“We don’t really have a formal membership. We have regulars who turn up each year, passersby who get involved by accident and neighbours who help.
“We collect and bag the rubbish, someone with a quad bike or tractor will collect it. I arrange a skip which is paid for by Hoghton Tower Estate and we fill it.
“It’s so important to try to do something about the amount of rubbish, particularly plastic from entering our rivers and the sea.
“Our beaches are awash with plastic scraps and plastic bottles. It is awful to see the damage we are doing to our world but at least the rubbish we collect will not end up in the sea. Since the plastic bag charge there have been fewer of these, and the £1 shopping trolly scheme has stopped these from being thrown in. What we need now is a refundable/returnable plastic bottle. It’s clear that if there is a financial incentive the problem lessens.”