Hundreds of volunteers throughout Renfrewshire have made a positive difference to their local environment by participating in this year’s Big Spring Clean.

Throughout March and April, more than 725 people, including local volunteers, community groups, schools and businesses, took part in litter picks that removed more than 3,200 bags of litter from the local environment.

As part of the event, council officers also carried out 26 school talks speaking to pupils about the importance of looking after the environment and the difference they can make to where they live.

Headteacher at Thorn Primary School, Rebecca Lawson, said: “All pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed participating in this event which included input from the Big Clean team on the importance of looking after our environment.

“This fits very well with our school value of respect, enabling the pupils to be respectful of their school environment.”

Thorn Primary School pupil, Ella, said: “I enjoyed getting outside and cleaning up the playground and gate area. It is important because when the rubbish gets into the water and then the ocean the seas creatures can swallow it.”

This image and headline image: Pupils from Thorn Primary School in Johnstone
Photo Credit: Renfrewshire Council

A series of litter pick events also took place at retail parks throughout the eight-week programme with more than 17 volunteers taking part.

In a first for this year’s Big Spring Clean a series of Wildflower Planting sessions were delivered by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) for Renfrewshire’s community groups and the wider public.

Three community workshops took place hosted by Evergreen Elderslie, the West End Growing Grounds Association (WAGG) and Renfrew Association of Growers and Gardeners (RAGG) with 37 people taking part.

Participants in the workshops were given practical guidance on where, when and what to plant to help create wildflower meadow areas which will serve as a haven for biodiversity.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people volunteer to make a positive difference in their communities by participating in the Big Spring Clean.

“As a council, we’re working hard to enhance our own street cleaning, gulley clearing and litter picking as part of the campaign, while also providing support to volunteers that want to take part locally.

“The Big Spring Clean and Team Up to Clean Up are prime examples of what can be achieved when what the council and community work together. It’s encouraging to see the difference the volunteers have made to their neighbourhoods and the level of pride that local people are taking in where they live.”

The event is part of the award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign and saw litter picks take place across Renfrewshire’s towns and villages, with the Council supporting volunteers with equipment, health and safety advice and the removal of the collected litter.

The Big Spring Clean may be over, but the Team Up to Clean Up campaign runs all-year-round and new volunteers are always welcome to take part.

The council provides litter pickers, hoops and bags for anyone or any group wishing to take part in a litter pick, and the council’s StreetScene team will remove the bags of litter afterwards too from an agreed collection point.

To request equipment, call 0300 300 1375, email, join the Facebook group at or visit the Council website at

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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