Demand for charity's free litter-picking kits shot up during lockdown

Live Here Love Here manager Helen Tomb with Nicola Fitzsimons, Lynda Surgenor, Ruth Lawrence, Wendy Alfonso-Cole and litter-loathing puppet Al. Picture by Matt Mackey, Presseye/Live Here Love Here

A CHARITY aimed at encouraging people to care for neglected outdoor spaces has been given funding for hundreds of litter-picking, gardening and re-wilding kits after demand shot up during lockdown.

Adopt a Spot has handed out 500 kits and has received funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for a further 500.

Manager Helen Tomb said lockdown had sparked a renewed interest in environmental issues.

"In the latter half of last year we realised that people had noticed litter in their local areas and demand for the litter-picking kits had really started to grow," she said.

The charity offers four free kits: ‘Food for Thought' gardening kits, re-wilding kits including bird boxes and wildflower seeds, litter kits aimed at cleaning up the coastline and identifying microplastics and a general litter-picking kit.

"Adopt A Spot grew from people starting to look after their local spaces," Ms Tomb said.

"That would have been anything from looking after their local street, a whole park, a bit of coastline or a country lane - anywhere where people could pick litter safely.

"It's open to anyone who wants to get involved - individuals, families, community groups, absolutely anyone who wants to look after the local environment or learn a new skill."

The charity provided dozens of ‘Food for Thought' kits during lockdown, including to "many parents requesting kits for young people who missed their grandparents"

"They were able to split the kit, grow the seeds and chat over Zoom about what they had done that day and what was starting to grow," she said.

Ms Tomb said litter "remains a huge concern" but there is also growing awareness of biodiversity and the effects of climate change.

"This project in its first phase was already popular but it's really snowballed on the back of the pandemic," she said.

For more information, please visit www.liveherelovehere.org

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