Clean Up Hatfield is back, and looking for volunteers!

St Luke's litter pickers at a previous Clean Up Hatfield Campaign event.

St Luke's litter pickers at a previous Clean Up Hatfield Campaign event. - Credit: Clean Up Hatfield

The pandemic forced many local initiatives onto the backburner, including the Clean Up Hatfield Campaign, which makes a welcome return after two years this week.

Running from March 26 until April 3, the campaign asks for everyone in Hatfield to play their part in sprucing up our environment.

Organiser Marian Hurle explained: "It will be on a smaller scale this spring, but we still want as many local residents to join in as possible. There are lots of good people in Hatfield who care about the environment and we need them to help turn back the tide of rubbish and litter in the town."

Anyone can join in the Clean Up Hatfield Campaign - either by joining one of the organised litter picks or by doing a litter pick themselves in the area where they live.

"The town's streets, green spaces and hedgerows are full of discarded litter. The woods opposite the old Market Square in Hatfield have looked great this spring with all the spring bulbs, but they are often spoilt by people dropping litter as they walk through.

Scouts litter pick with local residents during the 2019 Clean Up Hatfield Campaign.

Scouts litter pick with local residents during the 2019 Clean Up Hatfield Campaign. - Credit: P Hebden

"Every area of the town has this problem - it's not just a few streets. In the past campaigns have made a marked difference for a considerable length of time."

The Clean Up Campaign coincides with the nationwide Keep Britain Tidy initiative. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and the local CVS (Community Voluntary Service) have agreed to provide equipment including bin bags, gloves, high viz jackets and litter grabbers.

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"All that is needed now is people with bags of enthusiasm," added Marian.

The YMCA litter pick getting started in 2019.

The YMCA litter pick getting started in 2019. - Credit: A Parris

Welhat cycling and Sustrans volunteers are banding together to clear some of the Alban Way. They will be meeting on the Alban Way at the underpass under the Cavendish Way by the Galleria at 9.30am on Saturday May 26 and would welcome other helpers.

Sustrans and WelHat Cycling litter picked the Alban Way by the Galleria for Clean Up Hatfield.

Sustrans and WelHat Cycling litter picked the Alban Way by the Galleria for Clean Up Hatfield. - Credit: Adam Edwards

Cathy Roe is leading a litter pick around the Birds area on Saturday April 2 from 10am meeting at the junction of Woods Avenue and Heron Way. Extra helpers are very welcome but please say you are coming so that there is sufficient equipment for all helpers.

The Clean Up Hatfield Old Town team with help from the Scouts.

The Clean Up Hatfield Old Town team with help from the Scouts. - Credit: C Goward

There are a total of 12 organised litter picks so far. Anyone who would like to lead a litter pick or join in with one is asked to contact Marian at marianhurle@gmail.com.

The details of all the litter picks will appear on the Clean Up Hatfield Twitter page shortly.

Clean Up Hatfield Campaign volunteers sort out the Birds area.

Clean Up Hatfield Campaign volunteers sort out the Birds area. - Credit: Clean Up Hatfield Campaign

There are also a large number of local residents who go out daily or weekly and clear up around the area where they live

Marian said: "This makes a huge difference after a short while. These people are local heroes, quietly getting on with picking up all the discarded rubbish that thoughtless people drop.

"Sometimes people argue that it isn't worth picking up the litter as it just returns. This is true to some extent, but nowadays there is more being done to tackle the tide of plastic with less being used for packaging and more people trying to recycle as much as possible.

"By tackling the root causes and picking up the litter too there is a better chance of solving the problem."

Past successes have seen Clean Up Hatfield volunteers collect hundreds of bags of rubbish.

Nearly 250 bags of litter were picked up between September 30 to October 6 2019. The group saw a record number of 25 groups and 142 volunteers turn out for its autumn campaign.

Hatfield Community Free School, Bishops Hatfield and Onslow St Audreys pupils also took part, and excluding the litter-picking from schools, 247 bags were collected.

Earlier that year, more than 150 bags of litter were collected as the community turned out in force to clean up the streets of Hatfield, with more than 125 volunteers participating.

Tin cans, plastic bottles, takeaway packaging and cigarette butts are all in the top five of litter collected during Clean Up Hatfield initiatives.