Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold has awarded Northants Litter Wombles a grant of almost £2,700 – to fund additional litter picking equipment to help them clean up neighbourhoods across the county.

The funding has enabled the Wombles to purchase high visibility jackets to help keep volunteers safe, sturdy litter pickers to access hard to reach litter and bag hoops to ease collection.

(all pictures by Kirsty Edmonds)

Northants Litter Wombles was set up in January 2021 and now has more than 3,100 members who are dedicated to improving the environment, raising awareness about the impact littering has on communities and encouraging more people to help clean up the county, as well as delivering educational sessions in school assemblies.

Since its inception, the volunteers have collected more than 42,000 bags of litter from across Northamptonshire. On a typical two-hour litter pick, volunteers could collect around 30 bags of rubbish.

Commissioner Stephen Mold visited the Wombles during their latest litter pick in Northampton on Saturday (July 30), and said: “Litter blights our streets, our parks and our communities and has been linked to increased crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Discarded rubbish in our public spaces sends the message that people don’t care about their community and possibly don’t realise the impact it can have on people, wildlife and the environment.

“The Northants Litter Wombles provide an important service in the county. They are working hard to improve our communities for all by removing thoughtlessly discarded waste and by raising awareness of the issues associated with littering. I am delighted to be able to support them in their endeavours to clean up the county.”

Chair of the Northants Litter Wombles, Sally Romain, said: “The generous grant provided to the Northants Litter Wombles by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has been warmly welcomed.

“As a result of the grant, we have been able to purchase a significant number of sturdy litter pickers, bag hoops and high visibility jackets.

“Equipment has already been presented to the Abington Park Litter Pickers Group in Northampton and also to the Kettering Wombles.”