Dear Sir,

Since lockdown and the closure of our leisure centre and gyms many of us have had to look at alternative ways to seek exercise, so I took to walking and we have some good walks on our doorstep, like the Great Aycliffe Way (maps are available on the GATC’s website). The disappointing point on these walks is the amount of litter left in the hedgerows.

I have been reading much on social media lately about litter on the town and from that decided to do something about it, so I teamed up with Councillor Ian Gray and, in partnership with Great Aycliffe Town Council, we have decided to form litter pick groups. The area I have been working on is the Cobblers Hall area around Burn Lane, we have other volunteers that cover other parts of the town.

The aim is to “Stop the Drop” because dropping litter is a major form of anti-social behaviour, something that people are against and we must work together to stamp it out. The campaign to stop the drop was an initiative of the Campaign for Rural England.

An indescribable heap of filthy paper, empty fruit tins, broken bottles, cigarette and chocolate wrappers, matchboxes, cigarette ends and other litter, including alcohol cans and bottles, that people are oblivious or indifferent to their own part in despoiling and polluting the town. Reading the comments on social media some people seem to think it is the Councils responsibility but the truth of the matter is, it belongs to every one of us to protect our town. It not only will make the town look like a place you are proud to bring people to and makes it a good place to live, but helps in protecting the environment, this in turns helps towards our climate change initiative.

If readers are interested, and who can spare a couple of hours a week, get in touch with Councillor Ian Gray on or Steve Cooper at GATC. To sum up, litter spoils our enjoyment of the countryside and can be harmful for wildlife and people. I am working towards a litter-free countryside for everyone. The aim is to run projects, activities and campaigns in partnership with others from across the town to reduce litter, working with local partners and empowering communities to clean and celebrate their much-loved landscapes. Join us in making our countryside healthy, clean and tranquil. So, please, drop your local Councillor an email to say you are prepared to help.

DCC are coming in to help with this important issue, because certain parts can’t be done with GATC alone, like the issue of getting through the edges which belongs to DCC.

Mr. V. Crosby