Thank you very much! That’s how many miles of Britain you’ve promised to clear for the Mail’s campaign campagne

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Thank you very much! That’s how many miles of Britain you’ve promised to brighten up for the Mail’s campaign campagne

  • Army of Volunteers Help Great British Spring Clean Reach Important Milestone
  • So far, 160,270 volunteers have pledged to clear 1,006,135 miles of Britain
  • Network Rail promises that all of their 42,000 employees will spend time collecting litter

The Great British Spring Clean has reached an incredible milestone as our army of volunteers has pledged to clean up a million miles of the UK.

The milestone was reached after Network Rail pledged that each of its 42,000 employees would spend ten minutes a day collecting litter.

Yesterday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps – MP for Welwyn Hatfield – traded his daily routine in Whitehall for a litter pick-up to help clean up streets, hedges and the car park at his constituency’s train station.

Network Rail employees also helped remove discarded masks, soda bottles and cigarette butts from the area.

Participating in the Great British Spring Clean will help improve the courage of students and staff at Dorridge Primary School in Solihull

Mr Shapps greeted the milestone and told the Mail: ‘Thank you to the readers for helping out over the millionth mile. I think when people return to the track, it’s very important to be able to come back to a track that looks and feels safe.’

He added: ‘I’m a big believer that when people notice that the environment around them is clean, they feel happier and healthier. It helps people’s mental health [and] also helps with physical health.

“It’s a win in all directions and in fact, apart from the Mail campaign – or maybe even the example of Mail – I challenge Network Rail and Highways England to clean up and bet millions.”

Meet the smallest litter pickers while schools participate in the big clean-up

By Rachel Halliwell for the Daily Mail

Participating in the Great British Spring Clean will help cheer up the pupils and staff of Dorridge Primary School in Solihull.

Alison Brookson, leader of the school’s eco-council, said: “Our children – and especially the members of the school’s eco-council – want to save the planet. But it’s hard to know how you’re going to do that when you’re so young and it’s easy to feel powerless. By doing what they can locally, that changes for them.’

There are almost 700 students at the school who – in addition to cleaning up litter – wash benches, clean windows and brush the floors. “The plan is to make every part of our school shine,” said Miss Brookson.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and I think it will give everyone’s mental well-being a good boost as well.”

Students at Blythe Bridge High School in Staffordshire are used to cleaning up litter – teams of children are already taking turns patrolling the school grounds. Next week, some 50 students will move into their village, armed with garbage pickers and garbage bags, after asking the local community to identify areas for improvement.

When all 275 pupils from Plymouth’s Pennycross Primary School return next week, they will collect every last piece of candy wrapper, scrap of paper and bottle cap on and around the school grounds. “We want them to realize the importance of taking care of your home first,” says head teacher Stuart Tulloch.

When all 275 pupils from Plymouth's Pennycross Primary School return next week, they will collect every last piece of candy wrapper, scrap of paper and bottle cap on and around the school grounds

When all 275 pupils from Plymouth’s Pennycross Primary School return next week, they will collect every last piece of candy wrapper, scrap of paper and bottle cap on and around the school grounds

Students at Blythe Bridge High School in Staffordshire are used to cleaning up litter - teams of children are already taking turns patrolling the school grounds

Students at Blythe Bridge High School in Staffordshire are used to cleaning up litter – teams of children are already taking turns patrolling the school grounds

The Great British Spring Clean – organized by Keep Britain Tidy and supported by the Mail – runs until 13 June. And this year’s campaign has had to deal with restrictions on gatherings, resulting in fewer people attending.

The goal was to clear a million miles and so far 160,270 volunteers have pledged to clear 1,06,135 miles of Britain’s roads, riverbanks, beaches and countryside.

The Mail has highlighted the scourge of waste with our Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign.

And when it comes to the railways, litter, illegal dumping and graffiti not only make the network look horrendous, but it also creates safety problems.

Food waste can attract rats that can chew on cables, leading to signal failures, delays and even accidents.

If something is damaged, Network Rail has to fix it before the trains can run again, causing travel chaos.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: ‘Litter and fly dumping looks awful and if it is near the track it can cause delays for passengers. We tackle it every day of the year and spend money that could be put to much better use.”

Network Rail said: ‘We are delighted to once again support the Great British Spring Clean and have encouraged our 42,000 employees to join the million-mile mission and volunteer their efforts to rid Britain of waste.’

Each employee was asked to clean up litter for ten minutes a day during the campaign.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: ‘We are overjoyed that our community of litter heroes has pledged a million miles of litter collection for the 2021 Great British Spring Clean – that’s the distance to the moon and back, two turn!’

For more information, visit gbspringclean.org

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