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Litter picking youngster helps to tidy up community

An eight-year-old boy who has picked up almost 200 bags of rubbish has been thanked by Lancaster City Council for his commitment to keeping his neighbourhood clean.

Jack Woodhouse was spurred on to start litter picking after he realised how much rubbish was strewn along the paths on his daily walk to and from Grosvenor Park school, where he is a pupil.

He has been armed with a bag and a litter grabber on his daily walk since September last year and after reaching his goal of collecting 100 bags of rubbish, he is now at 176 - and is now aiming for 300.

Jack was presented with a voucher to X-Height and Williamson Park’s Butterfly House from the council to say thank you for his efforts.

His milestone comes as the council collected 265 bags of litter, weighing 620kg, picked by community groups over the past three weeks, as part of the Great British Spring Clean.

On top of the daily work carried out by our street cleansing team, council employees from White Lund depot spent a lunch hour filling 17 bags of litter as part of the Keep Britain Tidy’s annual campaign.

Said Jack: “I walk to school up the cycle track and there is always lots of rubbish and it is nicer to walk down when it doesn’t have lots of litter.

“I enjoy picking the litter and making it clean. But, it is frustrating when I have cleared litter away and not long after people have thrown rubbish there again.

“I had a goal of 100 bags, but I am going to keep doing it to collect 300.”

Jack said the most common litter items which he bins are coffee cups, drinks cans, crisp and sweet wrappers.

Jack’s brothers and sisters sometimes join in with him and he’s been a positive influence on his friends too.

Mum Emma, said: “I am very proud of him and his determination to do it, especially for his age. He had the idea to do a litter pick challenge and I thought he would just do it for a few months, but he reached his target and has just kept going.

“His friends have taken an interest in it and also want to join in.”

Through his 200-bin bag litter picking challenge, Jack has also raised £1,500 for Unique Kids, a local charity which helps his family.

He is now hoping to fill another 100 to raise money for charity Matilda’s Mission.

Councillor Dave Brookes, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: "Jack's clean-up effort is truly heroic, and to stick at it for more than six months shows real staying power, although I share his frustration that there seems to be a never-ending supply of litter to fill the bags.

"Council crews work 6am until 9pm, 7 days per week, emptying more than 1,500 litter bins across the district, as well as sweeping the streets to keep our neighbourhoods clean.

"But we have limited resources and community litter picking really bolsters the work we do, so we are very grateful to all the groups and individuals who help to look after their local areas.”

The council supports any individuals or groups who would like to litter pick, by providing equipment and taking away the rubbish they collect.

Anyone interested in litter picking should email
Jack’s fundraising page can be found at

Last updated: 22 April 2022

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