The Friends of Mitcham Common was awarded a grant to organise a clean up of the Common as part of the Capital Clean Up project.
Capital Clean-up ( www.london.gov.uk/cleanup) is a partnership campaign led by the Mayor of London to help Londoners work together to spruce up their city. It is supported by McDonald’s and is part of the Mayor’s wider Team London volunteering programme.
Over the past seven years, Capital Clean-up’s helped thousands of Londoners spruce up their city, from tidying up nature reserves to removing litter from woods.
Our Capital Clean-up project was on 20 July 2014 and cleaned verges of Mitcham Common, along Commonside East and Watney’s Road. It was organised by the Friends of Mitcham Common, a group dedicated to widening interest and understanding of the Common.
The clean-up brought together eight hardy volunteers, including councillor Martin Whelton, members of the Friends’ committee and a person who saw our Tweet and just loved picking up litter! The Friends’ Committee and Councillor Whelton want to improve the Common and encourage more people to see it’s amazing habitats, so it was fantastic that volunteers gave up their Sunday morning to help do that.
After four hours, we had cleared 25 bags of litter from the verges, including 20 bags of general litter, and five sacks of recyclables. The highlight of the day was that those areas look so much better than before. It was a fantastic achievement and showed what a few people can do in a short space of time. We also received some coverage in the Wimbledon Guardian. This was great to spread the word of what we are trying to do.
We want this to be a start of a longer-term routine of clean ups, now that this project has given us the equipment to do so. In particular, we want to start involving scout groups to increase the area that we cover. The lesson we learnt going forward is that Mitcham Common is a big place and keeping on top of this is difficult – but we will try!