Wombles' war on litter

It all started as an idea when 15-year-old Abigail Walker, who had been studying the environment at school, decided to get some bin bags and go on a litter pick and it snowballed from there.

The idea was for it to be a bit like park-run, where people meet up every week and walk together while collecting litter and making Aylesbury a cleaner and nicer place to live and work.

Dad Richard, the ‘Head Womble’, contacted Aylesbury Town Council and asked for help by getting the message out to people so they could join, providing bin bags and some equipment.

From the first meeting, the council was on board and regularly provided the group with its own community litter pick kit.

What started out with a few people a few months ago is now a large group of regular volunteers known as the Aylesbury Wombles.

They meet every weekend in various locations across Aylesbury and clean up litter in the area. Now the council has expanded the group’s own permanent litter pick equipment, such as litter pickers, high viz jackets and bin bag hoops, plus more bin bags, and supports the group in every way it can.

Aylesbury Town Mayor, Cllr Mike Smith, met up with the Wombles in Bedgrove on last night to officially hand over the new equipment and to lend a helping hand at the litter pick along Ambleside.

He said: ‘Having been out ‘Wombling’ a number of times now, it’s fantastic to see how grateful our local communities have been for the improvement in their environment that comes out of a visit from this fantastic group of volunteers.

‘There is a real team spirit when we are out working together, even with the necessary social distancing at the moment, as well as the satisfaction of seeing a job well done and a productive way of getting some exercise.

‘The town council are delighted to provide this extra equipment and continue supporting their work.’

Head Womble, Richard, said: ‘It’s not our rubbish but it is our town. We are very grateful to Aylesbury Town Council for all their support and advice since we started.

‘This equipment will make logistics of holding “Wombles” in various locations at the same time a lot easier and ensures that all of the volunteers have the right and safe equipment to work with.

‘We are very much looking forward to continuing to work in co-operation with Aylesbury Town Council in the years to come.’

Aylesbury mayor Mike Smith with the Aylesbury Wombles anti-litter team and their new gear.