Over to You

South Leicestershire Litter Wombles explain how they make a difference in our community

Many people will remember the animated TV characters from the 1970s The Wombles, a secretive family of litter collectors that lived on Wimbledon Common. Unknown to many Leicestershire residents is the less secretive collective of likeminded volunteers who over the last three and a half years have grown in numbers across every town and village of our county.

February 2019 saw a Facebook Group set up named The South Leicestershire Litter Wombles. From here, events were arranged, and a small number of volunteers turned up to our very first group litter pick. Slowly but surely more events were arranged around several villages and parks during spring and summer 2019. This saw the number of volunteers who had a passion for keeping our environment clean and helping endangered wildlife begin to grow.

Throughout 2020, the South Leicestershire Litter Wombles developed an online form to record individual residents’ activity around Leicestershire. This meant we could find out where people were active and how much was being collected. The national lockdown occurred, and our active membership expanded. Monthly rubbish bag collections went from 1,000 to 8,500 in March 2022. This saw a massive haul of 47,646 bags of litter being removed from the Leicestershire countryside for the year.

To date, the South Leicestershire Group has held 185 group events right across the south of the county with attendances regularly of around 25 to 30 volunteers each weekend. The group's biggest haul was when they managed to remove 323 bags of rubbish from one lay-by in just 2 hours! As it stands the group have removed over 100,000 bags of rubbish in just under the 3 years that numbers have been recorded.

Alongside the litter picking, we have an education group called Wombles in Litter Education. This group offers a free assembly to any school in the county. The group have attended 105 schools spreading the message to nearly 22,000 youngsters about the harms caused by litter, the long-term non-degradability of many of the items and the reasons why we need to recycle.

Amongst numerous recognitions, our Wombles have recently been awarded The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Business and Community Award, whilst the Wombles in Litter Education group was awarded the BBC Leicester Making a Difference Award.

Although we have already made a huge impact, more is still needed to make a difference. Our mantra is action not words. If this is something you would like to get involved in, please find our details on our Facebook page shown in the link at the bottom of this page.

We would like to thank our amazing volunteers for the work they do and the positive change they are making to our environment.

Love Blaby Lottery and Blaby District Community Grants

Blaby District Council can help with funding for your community group, sports club or other VCS organisation! Through the Love Blaby Lottery or Community Grants Scheme you can get access to funding that can make a real difference. Please see the links at the bottom of the page to find out more.

Last updated 19 December 2022
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