Keeping Communities Sustainably Clean

CleanupUK is a charity whose main focus is on helping those who are most in need, usually in areas of deprivation, to combat the litter problem where they are. Through involvement in this activity, people feel their communities are safer, more welcoming and friendlier.

It`s work consists of running the Beautiful Birmingham Project and the Beautiful Boroughs Project.

When we want to relax and be uplifted and inspired we seek out beautiful places. Littered and uncared-for areas have the opposite effect on our spirits – they are depressing, stressful and demoralising. For the people living there this is everyday life and it is hard to muster the enthusiasm and energy to tackle alone what seems like an insurmountable problem.

The projects work with people living in these communities who want to form groups to keep their area clean and safe, thereby strengthening communities depleted by litter, poverty and disadvantage. CleanupUK plays a complementary role with the local authorities, stengthening communities through the simple act of picking up litter and encouraging social action.

Restore Our Planet has provided funding to help support the Beautiful Boroughs Project, launched in 2011, and currently being delivered in 12 of the most deprived and littered London boroughs: Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

CleanupUK also helps anyone wherever they live in the UK to form a litter-picking group to strengthen their community. This is achieved via the Litter Action website that was have set up in conjunction with the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). You will find all that you need on the site to help you run your litter group more easily, start a new group or join a group near to where you live.

Water Vole Conservation – London wetlands Centre Barnes

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust was founded in 1946 by Sir Peter Scott, whose aim was ‘to establish a centre for the scientific study, public display, and conservation of the wildfowl of the world’.

Today they are a world leader for the protection of swans, geese, ducks and flamingos and work to save and restore ponds, lakes, rivers and other wetlands with associated wildlife and plants. Over the last century, in the UK alone, half of our wetlands have been lost; and globally the loss of wetlands is accelerating as populations increase and competition for resources soar.

WWT have recently begun the Water Vole Conservation Project to introduce conservation areas to promote the recovery of water vole populations that current estimates suggest has declined by over 94% in the last century. This due predominantly to destruction and pollution of habitat. To achieve their recovery it is important that WWT: manage and restore habitat through the establishment of appropriate emergent vegetation – including reeds, yellow flag and sedges;diversify the water course structures and create pools where appropriate. To this end a 3 year management program has been initiated at the London Wetlands Centre, Barnes.

Restore Our Planet is funding this project, including the purchase of specialist tools and equipment vital to the habitat restoration and management, as well as for the essential pest control and monitoring activity.