From little acorns majestic oak trees grow …

And so began the birth of Pemberton Pickers by two grumpy golden oldies two years ago who shared the same concerns about the amount of litter in Woodham Village and surrounding woods. Their motto was quite simply “If you’re part of the problem you have to be part of the solution” … and they set to clearing the litter. Their work and commitment did not go unnoticed and they were soon joined by other equally concerned residents.

As the group and needs grew Maureen contacted Durham County Council who immediately responded by supplying bags, bag holders and pickers, for which we are very grateful. We were further supported by Bargain Buys and Wilko who donated wheeled baskets, invaluable for transporting bottles and other heavy objects. This enabled the group to successfully clear larger areas.

We would also like to record our sincere thanks to Councillor Michael Stead who, in collaboration with Mark Wilks from DCC, successfully arranged the clean-up of the fly-tipping around the copse bordering the Huntsman Pub car park, something Maureen had been trying to resolve for months!

One of the most positive and exciting outcomes of the above is the active interest shown by our local children who are now enthusiastic participants and valuable members of our group. To quote Prince William and Sir David Attenborough “the children are the future” and we need to give them the support, tools and encouragement to continue this essential environmental work.

With this in mind we are also very grateful to David Sutton-Lloyd, Woodham Community Centre, and I quote … “We have always considered our centre as a vital part of our local community environment. I have witnessed first-hand the excellent local work on the environmental protection started by Maureen and Denise. Young people are the future. Our committee has agreed to my suggestion that we should make our centre available free to this group”.

On the back of this we are now proud to launch our new Facebook group, “Pemberton Pickers”, and actively encourage other volunteers and children to please join and get involved.