Join the fight against littering in North Devon

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Join the fight against littering in North Devon

Superhero dropping a bottle in a bin

This month we are talking litter.

It's not the most glamorous of subjects - but it's oh-so important, and we want YOU to help in the fight to tackle it. 

There is little that is more upsetting than seeing our beautiful coastline, countryside, parks, trails and streets littered with takeaway food packaging, plastic bottles and drinks cans. The vast majority of us wouldn't dream of dropping our rubbish anywhere other than in a bin, but sadly and consistently, a small minority seem to care little for the beautiful environment they live in or visit.

The huge strides we need to to take in order to rid our district of litter will be made up of small, individual steps. By each taking some personal responsibility for tackling the littering problem we can start to overcome it together.

The community litter picking groups springing up in North Devon are already working hard to clean up their local communities - read about their efforts below. We hope that you'll join us in giving them a virtual pat on the back - and maybe even feel inspired to set up or join a litter picking group in your own area... 

A few of North Devon's fabulous litter pickers

Image of three people picking up litter

Bickington Residents Against Pollution (RAP) and Tawstock RAP are two community litter picking groups that are making great inroads into cleaning up their local patch! 

The two groups have made huge progress cleaning up the Barnstaple area. Most recently they cleared the stream by Tews Lane and removed plenty of litter and two bicycles! They regularly clear banks and verges around schools and are helping to monitor potential littering hotspots.

Deer Park Litter Pickers sign

Deer Park Litter Pickers were set up, with the involvement of our Neighbourhood Officer Ray, last summer. 

A local resident was concerned about litter in her area and reported the matter to us. After Ray met with her she was motivated to speak to some of her neighbours and a meeting was called to look at the problem more deeply.

The group has since organised regular clean-ups of their immediate area and sometimes beyond and their efforts and enthusiasm have transformed the area.

There are also individuals making a massive difference in local communities. One such example is Kyle from Mullacott, who has almost single-handedly cleared all of the litter surrounding Mullacott roundabout, which was a huge task and no mean feat.

We raise our caps to all of you #LitterHeroes and hope you serve as an inspiration to others in the district who would like to improve their local environment.

A shout out too to those local businesses and organisations that take a serious approach to this issue; some have their own groups and ‘Green Teams’ that are encouraged to clear up the locality and some who adopt the voluntary Code of Practice. We thank you for your efforts - you're all #LitterHeroes in our eyes.

Stop the drop!

Two images - dropping litter from a vehicle and a clean country lane

Far too many people see fit to discard of their litter out of a car - but the rest of us can clamp down on it! Dash cam footage can be used as evidence if anyone witnesses this happening: from cigarette butts to takeaway packing, regardless of who discards the rubbish, the registered owner of the vehicle is responsible.

Report littering that you witness on our litter webpages.

National litter campaigns

There are lots of national anti litter/pro litter picking campaigns that we add our voice to - and you can too. Here are just a couple of them...

Keep Britain Tidy logo


Keep Britain Tidy's #LitterHeroes campaign is their way of supporting everyone who wants to do their bit to create a better environment on their doorstep and anyone who is already making a difference. For more information see the KBT website.

2 Minute beach clean logo


The 2 Minute Foundation is a registered charity that is devoted to cleaning up our planet two minutes at a time. They believe that simple, achievable acts can add up to make a great difference.

As a result of the pandemic, the litter picking stations usually present at a number of North Devon's beaches were removed to minimise the risk of infection, but you are still encouraged to continue carrying out a two minute litter pick using your own equipment when out on your walk.

More information is available on the 2 Minute Foundation's website.

Bagging the dog mess is only half the job

Woman dropping dog mess in a bin

One bug bear of many in our district is the habit of a minority of dog owners who insist on bagging up their dog's mess, only to hang it from a tree or leave it on a verge to 'pick up later'.

Bagging up a dog's mess is only half the job and leaving it anywhere other than inside a bin is littering. That includes leaving bags on top of or near a bin - or where a bin used to be! Please take filled bags with you until you find a bin to put it in.

If a bin is full, please let us know about it by contacting our customer services team by email to or by phone on 01271 327711, providing the specific number of the bin if possible.

You can use the mapping tool on our website to locate dog bins in the district, listed under 'local facilities'.