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  • Durham OnAir

Selfless work of litter-picking and gardening volunteers to be celebrated

The work of selfless volunteers who have kept County Durham communities blooming

during the coronavirus pandemic is to be celebrated.

Individuals and groups are being encouraged to share their stories and pictures of

environmental improvements, such as litter picking or planting, in the areas where they live

that they have undertaken in the past year.

From Monday 17 May, litter picking groups are able to incorporate 30 volunteers at one

time and Durham County Council’s Civic Pride service is able to support litter picking

groups with the short-term loan of equipment.

The service is also looking to celebrate the work of younger litter pickers, with schools

invited to nominate a child, group or class for the Tidy Ted Award, which is named after

the council’s anti-litter mascot.

As well as litter picking, children can be nominated for any environmental achievements

and gardening club projects they may have undertaken during the pandemic and the

winning entry will receive a Tidy Ted certificate and gold badge for their efforts. Schools

are also being asked to ‘adopt’ an area to keep litter free and can borrow litter picking

equipment from the Civic Pride service.

The Sedgefield in Bloom group is one organisation which has made a positive difference

to its area. Volunteers have provided colourful troughs of spring and summer flowers, towers of hanging baskets and spruced up the ever-popular Bloom Bike, which is now

tumbling with plants on the village green.

Sedgefield in Bloom

Norma Neal, Sedgefield in Bloom secretary, sponsorship and publicity officer, said:

“During lockdown and particularly as restrictions have begun to ease, the village has

retained its brilliant community spirit. Colourful tubs, borders and beds can’t fail to lift the


The West Auckland in Bloom group meanwhile has carried out various improvements,

including helping to brighten up the pathway to the area’s local primary school. Group

members also created Christmas and Easter displays.

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “Well done

to everyone who has gone the extra mile to keep their area looking great during the

coronavirus pandemic. Your actions are greatly appreciated by everyone in the


“We look forward to hearing more stories about groups which have given up their time to

take pride in our communities and would remind people that we can help with the loan of

equipment to carry out this work.”

To register interest in borrowing litter picking equipment for a group litter pick or to submit

a story, email

For more on the council’s Civic Pride service go to


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