Matt is a man on a mission to keep Hucknall litter free

A Hucknall man is on a one-man crusade to help keep the town’s parks and green spaces litter-free.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 11:35 am

Matt Williams is becoming a regular site in places like Titchfield Park, collecting up bags of litter and helping clean the place up.

Matt said: “It was the beginning of the first lockdown last year when this all started.

"I was out walking the dogs in Titchfield and just saw all the litter lying around.

Matt Williams has been out litter picking in Hucknall

"The council do work really hard to try and keep on top of it and they go round every day but it’s a never-ending battle and there’s some bits they just don’t get to or don’t seem to ever do.

"I was walking around with the dogs and just thought ‘god, it looks an absolute state round here’, so I thought I’d just start to pick a few bits up to help out.

“And from that things progressed and I bought myself a litter picker and a bag holder and it went from there."

Depending on the weather, Matt will usually be out two or three times a week picking up litter, especially now the evenings are getting lighter.

His litter-picking has covered all parks in Hucknall and areas like Newstead Abbey Park and Bestwood Country Park.

Usually, it is a solo project but he sometimes manages to persuade his 11-year-old daughter to come with him.

He said: “I do try and get her some come and help but being 11 she’s often not that keen.

"Sometimes I’ll get very little when I’m out but other times I’ll get loads, it just depends where I am really.

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“It’s basically me wanting to do my bit for the community in lockdown.

"There’s been lots of stories of community spirit coming through everywhere in the last year and this is my contribution to that.

"Even one person can make a bit of a difference and it seems to having the right effect.

"A few of my friends have gone out and bought litter pickers themselves now and they go and do picks themselves.

"So it’s clearly inspiring some people, which is great,

"What would be most ideal, of course, would be if people cleared up after themselves and didn’t drop litter in the first place.

"I have noticed that once I’ve done an area, it takes two of three weeks now before it becomes bad again, so I’m making an impact.

"A lot of it is just teenagers chucking rubbish on the floor, but what a lot of it also is, is some areas are so insanely bad, a lot of people think ‘a bit more litter won’t hurt’, which is what we’re trying to avoid.

"Getting some more litter bins put into the areas I know are bad would help and I’ve been in touch with the council’s environmental team about this.”