A TEAM of volunteers from Warrington have been tackling the town’s litter problem, gathering 2,200 sacks of rubbish since January this year.

The ‘Litter Networks’ cover 19 areas of Warrington and were set up by Paul Connor and James Coates during the first lockdown.

The networks have a current membership of 1,500 and are based in each local community in Warrington.

Last Saturday, as part of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, the Litter Network combined a number of small groups to tackle larger projects in Warrington.

Together with the Sankey Canal Facebook group from St Helens, the teams tided 15 miles of Sankey Canal trail with 166 bags of litter collected by the team and several tons of fly tipping.

The Stretton Litter Network team also worked hard last weekend, finding a car mat full of sick and a bag of human poo in the lay-by near the motorway.

The network works through Facebook and includes the public posting ‘hot spot locations’ in the local area which the volunteers can then choose to tackle.

Each Litter Network allows people to ‘adopt’ a local trail or road and enables individuals to join in small groups or tackle a larger challenge.

Warrington Guardian: Over 2,200 bags of litter have been collected by the teams since JanuaryOver 2,200 bags of litter have been collected by the teams since January

Tony Dixon, a member of the Litter Network from Grappenhall, said: ‘‘We are a growing movement and are truly fortunate to work closely with a very forward looking team at Warrington Borough Council represented by Ian Brackenbury and Chantelle Bramhall, who support us with blue bag supplies and some kit.

‘‘We have a system for communicating at locations and arranging their prompt collection by Warrington Borough Council.

‘‘It’s a winning combination.’’

The Litter Network teams believe the litter problem is already improving due to their hard work as their regular Tuesday team now has to travel further to tackle hot spots.

The team now litter pick most days and collect four times more litter than before the lockdown.

A few gardeners are also part of the team and the network supports local efforts to transform wasteland or patches of ground into wildflower gardens or micro-parks.

Tony, 58, added: ‘‘Litter networks help people to see litter picking as normal behaviour, a bit like walking the dog or buying a newspaper.

‘‘It is a nice experience, very mindful outdoor exercise with a real sense of purpose and achievement.

‘‘While we collect litter we also collect conversations.

‘‘People stop to chat or just say thank you, and it’s a good feeling, as local people we are all on the same side.

‘‘You are part of a big team, a massive family.’’

The Litter Network have spring cleans in place this weekend around the town centre, and from Birchwood to Walton.

To join a local Litter Network you can visit: litternetworks.org

To book a place on this weekends litter picking, you can email: springclean@litternetworks.org