COMMUNITY volunteers have come together to collect 63 bags of rubbish in Tanfield Lea Park and Harperley woods.

The litter pick was organised by Tanfield Lea Countryside Group and 47 volunteers of all ages joined forces to look after their local environment.

Seven-year-old Thea Caine, one of the youngsters who took part in the recent event, said: “It makes me very sad that people drop litter, there is absolutely no need.”

The countryside group hopes by raising awareness of the problem it will encourage people to act responsibly and take litter home with them.

The group was established in 2008 and works to improve the local environment in a range of ways by organising practical conservation activities such as this litter pick and Himalayan Balsam bashes.

They also provide training for the local community such as willow-weaving and veteran tree identification.

The events bring the community together with pond dipping, crafts, geocaching, dawn chorus and teddy bears picnics.

Ron Kelly, the founder and chairman of the group, said: “We need to look after our precious wildlife and countryside before it’s too late.”