The situation in Rossendale in the ‘90s was probably no worse than many other areas of the UK but that didn’t mean it was acceptable. 

From 2000-2012 regular weekly sessions with groups of Civic Pride Rossendale litter pickers showed marginal improvements in the national disgrace that dropped litter is.  More needed to be done.

The Lone Rangers Ride into town!

In 2013 a new concept was introduced. With individual volunteers picking litter at a time and place to suit them, they were soon dubbed the Lone Rangers but the improvements became more noticeable as their numbers swelled.

Today, this veritable army of volunteers keep most areas virtually litter free by patrolling their own patch on a regular basis.

In addition and thanks to groups of a dozen or more volunteers blitzing a particularly bad site, there are far fewer major grot spots than there were recently. It was not unusual to fill in excess of 50/60 bags in addition to larger detritus on one of these operations.

The Spur Road

Visitors and residents approaching Rawtenstall from the motorway system are likely to notice a major change in the state of the verges and central reservation as they travel onto the A682 spur road.  Suddenly there’s green grass, daffodils and narcissus in Spring but hang on, something’s missing.  Litter!

It’s not everybody’s idea of fun but fortunately there are enough of us who are daft enough to get out there and remove it on a regular basis.  The most important pick is immediately before the council mow the verges and central reservation, to save litter confetti being scattered to the four winds!

The increase in the number of small plastic bags, nitrous oxide canisters and empty bottles of alcohol is concerning. The contents are all presumably used to create a high for the individuals concerned but the fact that many of these appear to be thrown from passing vehicles raises even more questions.

Waterfoot to Water

Since 2020 we’ve seen a massive improvement on Burnley Road East from Waterfoot to Crown Point and our thanks and particularly those of the local residents must go to a small number of enthusiastic volunteers. Not content with just clearing litter, several paved areas and benches have benefitted from their efforts.

This picture was taken on New Years Day after 3 hours spent by one such volunteer clearing up after the previous night’s revellers.

Further efforts

However, it’s not all bad news!  According to academic research, an area that already has litter, is FIVE times more likely to attract litter than a clean one.  This, together with the hard work of our volunteers helps explain the substantial decrease in litter over the last few years.

It’s not just litter that needs our attention – scroll down to learn more about the work we do and how you can help.

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