Charity calls for pristine streets as Olympic torch approaches the South
Bio: Having written for a range of trade and consumer publications, Victoria brings her love of all things local to the role of HugoFox News Editor.
This summer, environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy is calling for the people of Britain to organise community clean-ups before the Olympic torch passes through. The campaign, ‘Show the World’, encourages people to demonstrate their love for their local areas by clearing litter and detritus from their footpaths, parks, and playing fields, thus ensuring that they can be proud of their communities when the torch arrives and the eyes of the world turn to watch it.
Lit in Greece, the iconic Olympic torch arrived in the UK on 18th May, and is now well into its 70-day journey, which was plotted to pass through over 1000 cities, towns, and villages before reaching its destination at London’s Olympic stadium on Friday 27th July. The torch is being carried by a series of 8000 worthy bearers, picked from local communities for their individual stories of courage and tenacity. These plucky folk are taking the torch through a route carefully planned to pass within 10 miles of 95 per cent of people in the UK, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey – giving as many people as possible the chance to glimpse the runners as they participate in this historic event. (Watch the torch relay live on the London Olympics website, here!)
Currently making its way through the Midlands, the Olympic torch is due to arrive in Oxford on the evening of 9th July. It will make its way to Reading on the following day, passing through Abingdon, Henley-Upon-Thames, Maidenhead, Windsor, and Ascot (amongst others) before resting overnight in Reading. Then Berkshire, Hampshire, and Wiltshire will all be visited on 11th July as the torch takes in the sights at towns such at Newbury, Basingstoke, and Amesbury before reaching its evening destination of Salisbury. From there on, the torch will wind its way to the coast as its route takes it along (and over!) the shoreline before heading into its final stretch towards London.
Andover, Hampshire has already conducted a community clean-up, with Test Valley Borough Council organising a ‘Sparkle Day’ to tidy the town centre. Council members and volunteers took to the streets to remove litter, clean road signs, mow grass, and generally make the place spick and span! The Basingstoke Canal was also given a scouring recently, as The Surrey Greenspace Project (sponsored in part by the Surrey Wildlife Trust) arranged a group effort to clean the area. Using a Big Tidy Up kit ordered from Keep Britain Tidy, volunteers set to with their litter-pickers, leaving the canal and footpath clear of waste.
Keep Britain Tidy is keen to motivate other communities to follow suit. On the charity’s website, people can order their own Big Tidy Up kit, including tabards, refuse sacks, and Show the World wristbands. Orders take a week to be processed, however, so if you’re considering getting one in time for a pre-relay tidy then make sure you order in time!
TV presenter and Keep Britain Tidy ambassador Kirstie Allsopp voiced her support for the campaign. “The world will be watching the torch relay so we need to make sure our country is a sight for sore eyes, not an eye sore,” she says. “The torch relay is an opportunity for local communities to shine a light on the best their area has to offer, so what better way to promote your neighbourhood’s best features than by making sure it isn’t cluttered with empty crisp packets, cartons and chocolate bar wrappers?”
HugoFox News is in full agreement with Ms. Allsopp. The UK is home to stunning countryside and attractive towns, and now is the time to Show the World that the people of Britain really care about the environment we are so lucky to live in!