Volunteers spruce up Hatfield for the spring

The French Horn Lane team of litter pickers.

The French Horn Lane team of litter pickers. - Credit: Marian Hurle

Groups of volunteers have been picking up litter across Hatfield as part of an annual spring clean campaign.

The Clean Up Hatfield initiative took place over 10 days, with103 volunteer litter pickers of all ages and from all backgrounds helping to remove rubbish from the streets and verges of the town.

The biggest group was the YMCA who had 20 helpers clearing up around the Hive (Jimmy Mac's) in South Hatfield.

But Sustrans and Wel Hat Cycling's 12 volunteers worked for an epic 2.5 hours and cleared 40 sacks in total - 24 landfill and 16 recyclables - from a half mile stretch along the Alban Way behind the Galleria.

The Briars Wood litter pick team.

The Briars Wood litter pick team. - Credit: T Rowse

Clean Up organiser Marian Hurle said: "The Galleria and WelHat council really need to do more to keep the litter down in this area as it is a main route for pedestrians and cyclists and is being used as a rubbish bin by some. There were a lot of take away wrappers and containers - particularly numerous were those from McDonald's and some of the other take away outlets in the Galleria. They need to come out and do some regular clearing here themselves."

"There are clearly people who buy a McDonald's at the drive-through, then go and eat the food and simply dump the packaging without any thought as to how it gets cleared up."

Altogether a staggering 160 bags of litter were removed from the streets of Hatfield.

Sustrans and Wel Hat Cycling in action.

Sustrans and Wel Hat Cycling in action. - Credit: A Edwards

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Large groups of volunteers covered the College Lane area, the Briars Lane area and the Birds area. Smaller groups were out in most areas of Hatfield, but not everywhere could be covered given time and resources.

Two lawn mowers and an exercise bike were among the things found dumped and a wallet complete with credit cards and a driving licence was also found and taken to the police station.

Marian said: "It was an excellent result. The volunteers who join in really are local heroes. It was a slightly smaller scale operation this spring as we didn't ask the schools or any local businesses to get involved, but the local people really did us proud."

Going forward there are a number of ways that local residents can make a difference themselves

  1. Pick up any bits of litter in the area outside where you live or that have blown into your garden and put them in your bin.
  2. Adopt a road and do the whole of your street every so often (Contact WHBC: they will give you a litter picker, gloves, high viz vest and bags and ask you to report when you have done litter picks). Contact by emailing https://www.welhat.gov.uk/contact or ring them on 01707 357000.
  3. If you see a fly tip anywhere in Hatfield let the council know and they will remove it. Report it to: https://www.welhat.gov.uk/report/report-fly-tip.They will also seek evidence of who was responsible and prosecute if they have sufficient evidence.
  4. If you see an Asda supermarket trolley dumped around the town phone or email the collection agent that they use. They are Collex Trolley Retrievals request@collextrolley.com or phone 0808 1680 600. The Hatfield Asda store is known as Hatfield 4696 and you need to give a precise location of the trolley.

Litter is anything from a crisp packet or cigarette butt to a bag of rubbish. All litter is unsightly and makes our local areas look untidy and uncared for.

Some of the rubbish collected by Clean Up Hatfield volunteers.

Some of the rubbish collected by Clean Up Hatfield volunteers. - Credit: Marian Hurle

At this year's event the majority of litter was food related - takeaway wrappings, single use cups, drinks cans and bottles (both glass and plastic), sweet and crisp wrappers and cigarette ends. The new addition to this depressing list is discarded face masks which can be found on virtually every road in Hatfield.

Marian added: "The Clean Up Hatfield spring campaign has now concluded, but it is hoped that everyone will do their bit to keep the streets of the town tidier, so that the autumn campaign is a lot easier!"