Kirkstall residents decide it’s time for a spring clean

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The Easter bank holidays mean relaxation for many of us, but a group of proud Kirkstall residents used the time to tidy the Millrace area and make a difference in their community.

Simon Dawson, chairman of Kirkstall Valley Community Association and organiser of the event, said: “People always comment on how spaces look run down but it only takes a few people a few hours to really help out.”

“You get a real appreciation of how much rubbish is around. It shouldn’t come down to us to clean it up but it does.”

The issue of littering in the area led Simon and other locals to get out their bags, grabbers and gloves and meet at 10am on Good Friday to crack down on the mounting rubbish.

Simon said: “This sort of thing brings out a lot of willing people who are really enthusiastic and that makes all the difference.”

He and his co-organisers got a bigger response than expected, with around 20 eager volunteers meeting at St Ann’s Mills.

Fiona Venner, 42 of De Lacey Mount, said: “It’s very inspiring to see so many people from Kirkstall doing something to make the area better.”

Pickers of all ages got involved with dinosaur-themed vests and grabbers for kids.

Amber Rithalia, a mum-of-two from Kirkstall, said: “Lucas and Toby have enjoyed coming down and having a go.

“It gives them more awareness of how much rubbish is around and lets them get to know people and issues in the community.”

Lucinda Yeadon, Kirkstall councillor and volunteer said: “It just shows when the community comes together for the good of the local environment.

“Sometimes, when you see people who have come out and dumped stuff you lose faith in people, but this sort of thing restores that faith.”

The result of the spring clean was over a pile of around 30 rubbish bags, around double the original target, waiting to be picked up by the council.

People all over Leeds are getting motivated to clean up their communities, just a few weeks ago residents of Burley Top held another successful litter pick.

And the Kirkstall Valley Community Association wants to get even more volunteers involved.

Simon said: “We’re trying to encourage a lot of different groups to clean up their own areas and we’re having a positive response.

“We’ve got the equipment here so anyone who wants to give it a go can just get in touch and help out.”

Anyone who wants to organise a litter pick is encouraged to get in touch with Simon at

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