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"For a while now Iíve walked through the lovely countryside and seen the awful litter everywhere. I have to admit that it never even occurred to me that I should pick it up, I thought that someone else would. It suddenly dawned on me to pick it up myself and I felt pretty stupid for having not done so before. "
Kay Lewin, Litter Heroine

Tim Barnes Litter picking


I pick up litter from lanes around Cheltenham and the Cotswold. Currently, I go out two or three times a week for an hour or two at a time. Typically, I'll do a mile or two of lane in a session. There are four locations I litter pick regularly, every two to three weeks or so. Otherwise, I just look out for lanes that need doing when I am driving or cycling and I come back and pick them.
Litter picking Cotswold lanes is about as pleasant a way of sending time in the countryside as you could wish for.

My Litter Map

I'm using Google Maps to keep a record of my litter picking. Each pin records a litter picking session, the date and the amount of litter picked up (you can use the zoom arrows for more detail) .

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My Adopted Locations

I have adopted 4 locations around Cheltenham. I litter pick each one every 3-4 weeks and report any flytipping to the council.

Aggs Hill and the Fred Smiley Butterfly Reserve

Aggs Hill litter pick Cleeve Hill - adopted by Tim Barnes
Aggs Hill is a lane running from Cheltenham up on to the Cotswold escarpment to the South of Cleeve Hill. It's mostly plastic drinks bottles and cans that get dropped here. Bizarrely, just before Christmas some idiot dropped about 50 1m lengths of tinsel all the way up the hill. By the time we'd picked it all up it filled two large bin bags. From the top of Aggs Hill a lane runs along the escarpment, past the Bill Smyllie Butterfly Reserve, to Cleeve Hill. Just short of the pylons at Cleeve Hill there is some parking that gets a fair amount of fast food and drinks debris. On the 6th November the area was covered in fireworks debris from the night before. As its some way from any habitation, this lane also gets a fair amount of fly tipping.

Tim Barnes Litter picking A435 out of Cheltenham

A435 Cirencester Road: Lilley Brook to Seven Springs

Just on the outskirts of town, this mile of main road gets a lot of litter thrown from cars. Being just about burger eating distance from the town center it gets a fair amount of fast food debris dropped on it too. In Oct 2007, I noticed it was heavily littered and reported it to Cheltenham District Council. Their response was that due to health and safety concerns, they would need to cone off one lane before their staff could litter pick it. This would cost £1,000 per day, which they could not afford. I wasn't convinced it was that risky, so I litter picked it myself just to get a feel for the dangers. It took be about six hours in all and I removed 7 large refuse sacks of litter. It didn't feel that dangerous to me so I litter picked it again five weeks later. By this time another three sacks worth of litter had been dropped. Although I will continue to litter pick this road, I do not advise anyone else to litter pick a main road.

Tim Barnes Litter picking Buckholt Wood  Cotswolds

Buckholt Wood near Birdlip

This is one of the prettiest beech woods in the Cotswolds. In spring it is carpeted with white anenomes and bluebells. It seems to be a popular place for drivers to stop and have their lunch so it gets a lot of fast food litter.

Tim Barnes Litter picking - Normans Cross

Normans Cross

This is short length of lane running through a pretty beach wood near Sapperton. There are a couple of laybys and gateways that get a lot of car picnic litter. It's on my way to Cotswold Gliding Club, so it's easy to stop and do a bit of litter picking for 20 minutes or so.