The Countryside Alliance has urged its 100,000 members to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean to help tidy up the nation.
It hopes to convince everyone to sign up to a spruce-up on March 28-29 – and drummed up support with a litter-picking event involving a Shetland pony.
It has pledged that at least 1,000 people will definitely take part.
That pushes the number getting involved in the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, backed by the Daily Mail, to 287,207 so far.
To highlight the need for support this year, the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hunt took part in a litter-pick in Oxfordshire this week with a Shetland pony, hounds and one-year-old volunteer Harry Bow
A total of 6,388 litter-picking events have been organised from March 20 and April 13 for this year’s campaign.
A Countryside Alliance spokesman said: ‘We are pleased to be supporting this fantastic initiative with our very own Countryside Clean Up.
‘Litter and fly-tipping is a blight on our countryside, dangerous to livestock and wildlife, and can be hazardous to our waterways.
‘Once again our supporters will be out in force the weekend of 28th and 29th March cleaning up the countryside making a difference to the communities they love.’
The group, which supports hunting and other countryside pursuits, is also planning to arrange a litter-pick along river banks with schools that are part of the Fishing for Schools project.
A floating heap of plastic is pictured above in the River Lee in Tottenham Hale, London. The group plans to arrange a litter-pick along river banks with schools that are part of the Fishing for Schools project
The campaign started in 2007 to help young people to learn to fish and has helped more than 3,000 students.
The riverbank litter-pick will help highlight the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our waterways.
The Alliance will invite its 100,000 members to take part in and organise their own clean-ups which will be published on a map.
At least 1,000 have already signed up this year. Last year, the alliance helped to organise more than 50 litter-picks.
To highlight the need for support this year, the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hunt took part in a litter-pick in Oxfordshire this week with a Shetland pony, hounds and one-year-old volunteer Harry Bow.
The group will urge members to organise a litter-pick in their community, on their farm or by their local river.
It will send out forms to everyone involved in the Alliance and encourage them to join events which are already taking place.
Support for the Great British Spring Clean is surging to a phenomenal level and is on track to overtake the more than half a million volunteers who took part last year.
There were more than 6,000 clean-up events organised nationwide – and the number planned this year has already reached that figure.
So far, figures from business, politics, and sport have responded enthusiastically – with backing from Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself.
Britain’s biggest banks, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander are all supporting the campaign.
Broadcaster Gyles Brandreth and his daughter Aphra also backed the campaign by litter picking in London. A total of 6,388 litter-picking events have been organised from March 20 and April 13 for this year’s campaign
Lord Sugar and the England rugby and cricket teams have also thrown their weight behind it. And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has urged Christians to ‘litter-pick for Lent’.
The National Trust is encouraging its 5.5million members to get involved, while the Women’s Institute has also put out a call to action.
McDonald’s joined in the fight against litter last week, while other backers include sponsors Co-op, Wilko, Coca-Cola and Walkers.
More than 100,000 members of Girlguiding have pledged to join the Spring Clean.
Last year, 563,000 people pledged to take part in the event.
This year, with the help of the Daily Mail’s generous and big-hearted readers, we want to make the Great British Spring Clean the biggest yet – and are aiming to recruit one million volunteers.
It is easy to get involved: you can either take part in an organised event in your area, or pledge to take part by picking up litter alone – perhaps while walking the dog or on your way to or from work. If there isn’t a litter-pick in your area, you can organise one.