LITTER picking group The Wombles of Hambleton are launching a new initiative to encourage local businesses to keep their premises rubbish-free.

The "Pick your own patch" campaign by the Northallerton-based group comes ahead of their involvement in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.

The Wombles have secured the help of Geoff Archer of Archer’s Removals and Simply Shredding, Northallerton. The business answered a plea to help launch the campaign and have also funded some printing in the initial phase, while Hambleton District Council has provided support with bag collection and some equipment.

Businesses are being encouraged to "pledge" to support the Wombles on one of three different levels, from simply making customers aware of the Wombles’ work, to giving a member of staff some time to litter pick the business’s area. At a higher level, businesses are also encouraged to donate volunteer hours to join in with a larger community pick.

All companies will get a mention on The Wombles of Hambleton’s social media channels and those involved in a pick will also be mentioned on Keep Britain Tidy’s Litter Heroes page.

The Wombles of Hambleton range in age from three to 83-years-old and has so far picked more than 2,000 bags of rubbish from Northallerton, Brompton and surrounding areas during the first four months of 2021 alone.

Since the group's founding in 2018, members have to date picked more than 6,000 sacks of litter. Sister wombles groups in Thirsk, Carlton Miniott, Easingwold have also recently been launched.

Claire Hampson, spokesperson, organiser and volunteer co-ordinator, said: “We wish to spread the word about our work but would also love to encourage more businesses to be involved, particularly on the industrial estates. Especially given that we are coming out of lockdown, we know that many businesses are keen to boost trade. Who wouldn't want to make their business look as smart as possible?

"Some companies already have an ‘in house’ successful litter picking scheme, and this could simply be an extension of that. In fact, some forward-thinking companies have already contacted us to ask if their staff can use their ‘volunteer hours’ with us which of course we warmly welcome.”

The Wombles have secured a small grant from Northallerton Town Council to help with equipment costs but any further donations, however small, are welcomed towards the ongoing cost of equipment.

For more information about the business scheme, email Sam Brigginshaw at