Volunteers mark milestone 3,000 bags of rubbish collected from Temple Memorial Park
Volunteers are giving themselves a well deserved pat on the back after collecting 3,000 bags of rubbish from a South Shields park.
The Temple Memorial Park Volunteer Rangers, have now collected more than 3,000 refuse sacks full of rubbish since they embarked on their clean-up effort two years ago.
Every week come rain or shine the group members have given up their time a bid to make Temple Memorial Park in South Shields a nicer place for the local community.
Since January 2018 they have collected an average of 25 bags of rubbish every week - as well as introducing measures such as hanging refuse sacks on lampposts to discourage litterbugs.
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“I can’t believe it, 3,000 bags is quite an achievement,” said secretary, Bonita Nesbitt, who admitted she was initially overwhelmed by the task, after realising “decades” worth of rubbish had been dumped in Temple Park.
“People were just fly tipping, they thought it was acceptable,” she said.
“We found a conservatory once and there were carpets from 1970s - you could tell by the patterns on them.”
Bonita continued: “We thought we would have it cleared in no time, but that first day everybody was absolutely shattered. There was heaps of rubbish - I thought we would never finish it.”
The group now has a team of 10 budding environmentalists who show up week after week to help improve and maintain the park, as well as organising litter picks in other green spaces around the town.
They are now expanding their efforts to concentrate on conservation and recently launched a scheme building bird boxes to protect local wildlife.
“The environment is everybody’s responsibility. We are all responsible for looking after where we live and we would love to be able to do more, said Bonita before adding that group is always looking for new volunteers.
“Even if you’re not into the outdoors there’s lots of thing you could do, from admin to photography to help record the wildlife” she said.
“Everybody who comes really enjoys it.”