Trash Free Trails Launch Their Fifth Annual Earth Day Spring Clean.

Trash Free Trails’ Earth Day Spring Clean is one of the cornerstones of what they do and is a great time to give your trails some love.

Join the throng of human beings heading out on April 22nd as part of the Trash Free Trails Earth Day Spring Clean and rid your favourite outdoor spaces of the dreaded single-use pollution.

Photo by Pete Scullion.

Over 1000 volunteers across the UK set to celebrate Earth Day by removing over a tonne of rubbish from trails and parkland.

Off the back of the widespread reaction to the State of Our Trails Report released by Trash Free Trails (TFT) in November last year, the not-for-profit are rallying their community to mark April 22nd with an ‘Earth Day Spring Clean’.

The campaign, now in its fifth year, Trash Free Trails’ Spring Clean campaign has seen the removal of over 60,000 individual items of Single-Use Pollution from public green space and trails. In 2023 alone Earth Day Spring Clean events across the UK removed over 50% of that amount.

The removal of litter, or to use their terminology ‘Single-Use Pollution’, has been the heart of the Trash Free Trails mission since its inception in 2017. Rally riders, runners and hikers to their mission, TFT not only encourage trail users to collect up pollution found, but also to survey it.

Their ‘State of Our Trails Report’, which collates surveys by volunteers across the globe, is a first-of-its-kind research programme, undertaking scientific innovation in the face of an almost total blind spot within pollution research. In 2021 only 5 papers were published on pollution within trail ecosystems, versus over 1000 titles on marine environment pollution. With academic support from Bangor University, Trash Free Trails are encouraging their community to help fill the knowledge gap.

“It’s one thing to ask our community to head out and protect the places they love every spring,” says Trash Free Trails CEO Dom Ferris, “but we don’t want to be asking them to do this beyond 2030. We want to create a sustained reduction in the amount of Single-Use Pollution on our trails, and to do so we need a roadmap, steered by policy and guided by scientific evidence. Our community are not just volunteer trail cleaners – they’re Citizen Scientists who support this vision every step of the way.”

Trash Free Trails have created a free ‘Do It Ourselves’ Toolkit to help individuals and groups organise Earth Day Spring Cleans, both privately and as public community events. Alongside events hosted by their Community Hubs across the country, they’ll also be running two flagship events in Bristol, and on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) over Earth Day Weekend. Last year the Snowdon event alone saw the removal of half a tonne of rubbish from the mountain.

“Earth Day is a great time to contribute to a global picture of environmental action to protect where to live. This is the Trash Free Trails way of doing just that.”

You can find out more about how to get involved in Trash Free Trails’ Earth Day Spring Cleans on their website here.