Dedicated Denny residents take pride in picking up after others to keep the area litter free

A new litter picking team made up of Denny and Dunipace residents have made it their mission to make the area beautiful for people to enjoy post lockdown.

By James Trimble
Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 1:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 1:03 pm

Members of the newly formed group, named Inspire Denny and Dunipace, gathered together in Denny’s Herbertshire Castle Park – known as Gala Park – on Monday evening to muck in and clean up litter.

An Inspire Denny and Dunipace spokesperson said: “We’re a small group of local residents hoping to inspire Denny and Dunipace folk to treasure our towns and keep them clean and beautiful.

“We were really pleased with the number of local volunteers on Monday night – it’s great to see the community in action. The group will be working closely with Falkirk Council’s soon to be launched five year litter strategy, which aims to work alongside and empower community groups just like this one to help clean up the Falkirk area.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Members of Inspire Denny and Dunipace group hard at work in Denny's Herbertshire Castle Park

“Ultimately the aim is to prevent litter from being dropped in the first place, and education and raising public awareness is essential to meeting this goal. Over the next few months there will be a real push in promoting the strategy and litter awareness.”

It may have been launched officially on Monday evening, but the core members of Inspire Denny and and Dunipace have been working as a kid of “secret army” during the COVID-19 lockdown to keep areas free of litter.

Individuals, families and household groups have been spotted around the town filling bags of rubbish that in some cases has been building up for years.

Charity worker Valerie Carson, who has been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic, swapped her usual morning commute to clean up pathways behind Denny High School and Denny Cemetery and around Cuthelton and Mydub Farms

She said “Walking in greenspace is supposed to be calming and good for our well-being but when lockdown started it was disappointing to see the paths around our neighbourhood covered in litter, so I decided to do something about it.

“I put on some gardening gloves and filled a plastic bag with rubbish each day. It’s really rewarding to see people and wildlife enjoying the area knowing I’ve helped make it a bit nicer than it was before.”

Local hairdresser Celine Croy heard about litter picks in other areas and invited members of her street’s WhatsApp group to take part in one.

Residents of Steel Crescent responded enthusiastically and several neighbours came together one Sunday afternoon to carry out their first socially distanced litter pick

Celine said: “I want to look after our area. It’s important to me to look after it and keep it clean and tidy. I feel like we did something positive. My little girl helped too. “It’s important to teach our kids and set good examples by looking after our green spaces.”

Scout leader Christopher Campbell has single-handedly cleared up over 100 bags of litter since the pandemic struck

He added: “When I was out exercising I saw all the rubbish that had been discarded and thought litter-picking was something I could do to help the environment and make the area look better for the local community while I wasn’t working.

“Environment and community are both issues The Scouts try to promote so as a Scout Leader this links in well too.”

It is estimated that clearing litter costs Falkirk Council £3 million annually. It is for this reason that we have seen an increased commitment to reducing litter nationally.

The Scottish Government has published its first National Litter Strategy, which aims to reduce litter and flytipping by encouraging people to take personal responsibility their actions.

Falkirk Council’s aim is to have cleaner, safer communities in line with this National Litter Strategy.

Helping the local authority achieve this goal is its street cleansing service which works to remove litter from public areas, a community safety team which works with residents to litter and a litter strategy team which provides education on litter through school activities, campaigns and events.

A litter strategy team spokesperson said: “The local community is vital to the effectiveness and success of our litter campaigns. We provide resources, assistance

and support for individuals, schools and community groups who want to organise their own campaigns and take action against litter.

“We work with national bodies such as Keep Scotland Beautiful and Zero Waste Scotland to mirror the national strategy on litter prevention. Working in partnership means we have a better knowledge of the national funding opportunities and we can benefit from sharing good practice and resources with other local authorities and

public bodies.”

Any groups like Inspire Denny and Dunipace interested in helping to clean up their local area can contact Falkirk Council’s dedicated waste strategy team by e-mailing [email protected]