STUDENTS from Gloucestershire College have joined the Great British Spring Clean campaign (March 15 - March 31) in an effort to clean up the Forest.

The students, studying for their Level 2 drylining diploma at Gloucestershire College’s Cinderford campus, set off for a litter pick around the lake at Steam Mills and adjoining forestry tracks.

Supported by staff from Forestry England and the District Council’s Street Warden team, the students helped with the campaign, which is the flagship event of the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. It is billed as the nation’s biggest mass-action environmental campaign.  

The campaign aims to encourage people to tidy up their neighbourhoods and open spaces to protect the environment. The Forest of Dean District Council said: “last year, UK residents pledged to pick up 400,000 bags of litter.”

Damion Collins, Community Safety Delivery Lead at Forest of Dean District Council, said: “There has been an amazing response to this year’s Great British Spring Clean by our communities, with individuals, groups and schools all coming forward to take part in the nation’s largest tidy up. 

In recognition of this, and to help all volunteers litter pick safely, the Council is again supplying litter-grabbers, hi-vis vests, sacks and gloves to anyone who needs them, as well as picking up bags of collected litter.” 

Sophie Bowkett, Student Mentor at Gloucestershire College, who accompanied the students on their litter pick, said: “As a college, we encourage all students to take part in a social action project during their time with us and we’ve been delighted to join others in the district taking part in this year’s Spring Clean, to care for our local environment. 

Taking part in projects like this one provides so many positive benefits, from helping students feel part of a team, to connecting them to their own local communities and giving them the opportunity to enjoy experiences outside of their day-to-day studies.”

If you want to help out, you can email the Forest of Dean District Council using [email protected]. Prospective litter pickers may be able to get a kit, bags and stickers to help their efforts.