1. Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) – Morpeth Litter Group (MLG)
– led by our KBT Ambassadors David “Dai” Richards and Tracy Kenny
Since 2018 Dai & Tracy as Morpeth’s ‘Keep Britain Tidy Ambassadors’ have been working closely with the KBT in the fights against litter. During the Covid-17 Lockdown – our litter blitzes have been curtailed but our volunteers were not thwarted by the lockdown and wanted to make a difference – hence spawned the ADOPT A STREET initiative in 2021. In 2022 STREET BLITZ initiative spawned where we target the verges of roads around Morpeth, in groups of 8 people – at all times endeavouring to stay within the Government guidelines for Social Distancing.
GMDT and other local volunteer groups (eg. Morpeth Lions, Rotary) work in partnership actively supporting the regular community activities, with the widespread individual ‘Adopt a Street’ initiative particularly significant.
In the past years MLG have worked closely with GMDT Environment Director in the production of End of Year reports, see below 2020 GMDT Litter Report and 2021 GMDT Litter Report, using these reports engagement with Morpeth Town Council and NCC Environment teams we have endeavoured to make improvements to the methods in which litter is captured.
2021 can be read and downloaded at the bottom of this web page – available in 2 versions / 12 page concise summary or full.
Changes we have achieved are:
a. Conversion of a number of bins to remove the redundant Cigarette Trays to new Cigarette receptables -BENEFITS: butts on the ground around the bin reduced by 70%
b. New bins / Moves of bin – working with Morpeth Town Council -BENEFITS: Increase captured of litter where hotspots identified
c. New bins at South Fields estate – working with Hepscott parish Council -BENEFITS: we new estate built need for new bins to be located to residents – 2 blue bins installed
2. 2018: Formation of Morpeth Litter Group
Our Environment Group has arranged occasional litter picks for some years, however it became apparent that several other groups and individuals were also doing this in and around the town. We considered this could be better co-ordinated, so in early 2018 some GMDT Environment Group members in conjunction with Morpeth Lions formed the ‘Morpeth Litter Group’. The aim was to pool resources, enhance the appearance of the town, and feed back information to Morpeth Town Council and Northumberland County Council on the most neglected “grotspots” requiring further action. We timed events to coincide with Britain and Northumbria In Bloom inspections, Keep Britain Tidy ‘Great British Spring Clean’, and the Lions ‘Protect the Planet’ month.
At the end of 2018, GMDT Environment Director Hugh Edmundson presented an End of Year Recommendations Report to Northumberland County Council, Morpeth Town Council, and KEVI School. It is hoped that the recommendations re adoption of “grotspots”; opening up and landscaping some areas which are currently either hidden or neglected wasteland; and Bin Management improvements (new bin locations, new cigarette butt trays installed etc); will be taken up by the relevant Councils.
The 6 litter picking events in 2018 resulted in 401 bags collected, large amounts of fly tipped items, tyres, barbecues etc, with a total of 154 volunteers involved across the 6 “Litter Blitzes” held on Sunday pm’s between March and October. We think that the scale of litter around Morpeth is now showing a marked reduction.
For example, as the photo below illustrates, our 5th litter pick on Sun 24th June at KEVI School attracted a diverse range of participants including teachers and students from the school, Town and County Councillors, and many members of the public of all age groups. In total some 38 people collected 47 bags of litter within the school grounds in an hour and a half.
Other participants in our events include: Morpeth Lions and Rotary; The Morpeth Justice and Peace Group; Morpeth & District Chamber of Trade; Scouts and Guides; and help from private sector companies such as Jewsons, Coca Cola European Partners and MKM Building Supplies.
3. 2019 onwards: continued progress…
Each year COMMUNITY BLITZES are organised – last Sunday of each month, March – October inclusive (excluding July/August holidays) – our KBT Ambassador / GMDT Environment director Dai Richards targets areas around Morpeth, pulling together like minded people who want to keep Morpeth free of litter.
Our latest Morpeth Litter Group 2020 Results & Recommendations Report can be read below:
Download: GMDT Litter Report 2020 / Concise summary (30 June 2021)
Download: GMDT Litter Report 2020 / FULL version (30 June 2021)
4. Index to Sub Groups