With the Great British Spring Clean underway, a Herefordshire student has been doing his bit for environment by volunteering with a local litter clean up group.

15-year-old Josh Simmons, a pupil at Hereford Cathedral School, has been busy litter-picking as part of the Ross Community Litter Clean Up Crew. Over the past three months he has completed at least one hour a week picking litter along the A49 footpaths near Peterstow and around the lanes of Hoarwithy and Sellack.

The Great British Spring Clean is an annual campaign, organised by the charity Keep Britain Tidy to bring organisations, businesses and members of the public together to clear up litter in towns, villages and the countryside.

The campaign began on May 28 and runs to June 13. Several local villages will be taking place in the Herefordshire version of the campaign

Josh volunteered to help the Ross group as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Scheme Bronze Award, and despite covid restrictions on groups making things more difficult, Josh realised he could help improve the local environment on an individual basis, whilst getting daily exercise, and completing his Bronze Award.

Speaking about his recent litter picks, Josh said: “I was shocked by the amount and type of litter being discarded and the impact it was having on wildlife, finding mice stuck inside discarded packaging. People should take their litter home and not leave it for someone else to clear up.”

Herefordshire Council supported Josh’s efforts with their ‘Stop the Drop’ campaign supplying a high visibility vest, litter picker and purple bags to ensure his safety whilst carrying out his voluntary work.

Although Josh has now completed the requirements of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, he intends to continue to make a difference in his local community and has even persuaded his mother and brother to join him in litter-picking.

Ross Community Litter Clean Up Crew are taking part in the event, with volunteers litter picking in family groups, social groups or individually. The group is also hopeful of arranging a larger group event on June 13.

If you’d like to organise a one-off litter pick during the Great Herefordshire Spring Clean and borrow litter equipment packs, and for details on other community litter picking groups in the area please telephone 01432 261800 contact [email protected]