CONGRATULATIONS to Sam Walters for his litter picking efforts around Darlington, and congratulations also to the fundraisers who are generously rewarding him for his efforts.

The fundraising shows how the community values having clean verges, and a tidy environment does change people’s attitudes for the better as they can see the neighbourhood is respected.

Many communities now hold local, voluntary litter picks, and this season could be an ideal time to join. When restrictions ease, people will still want to stay close to home, but they will need an activity in the outdoors where they can socialise with their neighbours. What ticks more of these boxes than a community litter pick?

The real tragedy, though, is that there is litter that needs to be picked in the first place.

On Sam’s haunts along the A66 it comes from people too lazy to take their waste to the tip and so they pile it up by the layby bins for the council to collect, and from people who just hoy it out of the window as they are driving along.

There is no excuse for any type of littering. Give Sam a day off, and take it home.