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What a mess you've cleared up!

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Published, 25/09/2017

Early indications show that this year's Big Dee Day clean-up operation has been a huge success.

In Flintshire alone, 250 volunteers collected over 200 bags of rubbish plus a couple of tonnes of fly-tip material as well as cutting down scrub, raking meadows and removing logs.

Hundreds of bags of litter and rubbish were collected by volunteers from schools, community groups, organisations and businesses who also planted 412 gorse plants and three yew trees, cleared scrub and resurfaced pathways during this year's annual Big Dee Day event.

The event was coordinated by Flintshire County Council with staff from the neighbouring councils of Cheshire West and Chester, Denbighshire, Wrexham and Shropshire and Natural Resources Wales.

Here are just a few examples of the fantastic work done over the last few days:

· Near Flint - 19 volunteers from Toyota collected 35 bags of rubbish plus fly-tip material; Keep Wales Tidy had eight people out who collected ten rubbish bags; another eight people from the RNLI also collected 8 bags.
· Seven students and their leader from Llysfasi College collected six bags of rubbish from Wepre riverside.
· Four Sustrans volunteers collected 28 bags plus some larger items from Hawarden Bridge to Saltney Ferry Bridge.
· 12 people from Flintshire's Countryside Service and Greenfield Valley Trust team got 30 bags plus larger items from around the "funship".
· Greenfield Valley Trust team also removed a tonne of fly tip from the valley.
· Five bags of rubbish were collected at Bettisfield by eight people from the Friends of Bagillt Foreshore.
· Fifteen Holywell Scouts plus other volunteers rounded up 16 bags of rubbish and a few larger items from Greenfield Valley and Dock.
· Eleven volunteers from Kingspan filled a flatbed truck and six bags of rubbish and cut back a large amount of scrub.
· At Presthaven, 25 people collected 12 bags of letter.
· Thirty pupils from Ysgol Gwynedd along with people from Flintshire Countryside and ENI collected three bags from Talacre; another six McDonalds volunteers got three bags from the same beach and volunteers from Natural Resources Wales collected another seven bin bags.
· Five Quay Watermen gathered up 30 bags of litter.
· Twenty Tesco volunteers and staff from Flintshire Countryside Services worked on gathering eight bags of rubbish, planted 412 gorse plants and removed five large trailers of cut scrub from Greenfield Dock
· 70 Coleg Cambria students and leaders along with Flintshire Countryside staff cleared a large section of Wepre Brook of logs and branches to aid flow, they raked a large area of meadow and cleared sections of scrub.
· 25 volunteers from Natural Resources Wales worked in these three areas as well as Talacre Beach:
· They cleared five acres of willow and birch which was encroaching on coastal habitat, improving habitat for wildlife on the Point of Ayr SSSI/SAC/RAMSAR site.
· 20 deadwood habitats were created, these areas will provide important habitat to small invertebrates and nesting birds.
· A 48 acre site survey was completed, which identified 18 potential natterjack toad scrapes.

Councillor Carolyn Thomas, Cabinet Member for Countryside, said:

"It's truly incredible how much rubbish has been collected so far – and the final figures aren't in yet! It has been another resounding success and I'd like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in making it happen. It's a true example of successful partnership working and I am delighted to be associated with it. It really was a fantastic effort by all involved."

Across the rest of the region, there was a similar story:

· Wrexham – Eight Tesco staff laid 20 meters of footpath in Alun Waters and ten of their staff created six metres of board walk and cleared a section of pond at Ty Mawr.

· Denbighshire – 20 Tesco volunteers removed hundreds of trees from the area of Moel Famau called "House for Grouse" – in order to help with habitat maintenance for black grouse.

· Cheshire - 27 Tesco staff collected five bags of rubbish and painted benches and fencing and 12 people from Quest cut trees and scrub in Caldy Valley; 17 members of Parkgate Community Spirit Group collected 2 bags.

· Shropshire – Tesco was were able to send along 23 staff members, these were joined by 4 locals from the Ifton Meadows Management Committee and members of staff from Shropshire Council. The task for the Big Dee Day in Shropshire was to clear encroaching scrub from important grassland for breeding skylarks. A huge area of grassland was cleared by the volunteers and a total of 112 volunteer hours were recorded.

The Big Dee Day kicked off with a breakfast launch event at Wepre Park and awards were presented to a number of organisations for their dedicated work to protect the environment during the last 12 months.


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