A SCHEME to clean up and green up communities has started in the town of Chilton– with workers and volunteers picking up with their sweepers, strimmers and litter-pickers to get to work.

Operation Spruce Up, launched in 2016, aims to improve the environment on the front streets of communities and has already impacted 25 area across County Durham.

Durham County Council staff were joined by representatives of the 4 Together Area Action Partnership, councillors and members of Chilton Town Council to launch the action on Monday.

Durham Road, Eden Terrace, Charlotte Terrace and surrounding areas will be jet washed, benches and fences will be repaired, flowers and trees tended to and businesses encouraged to find positive solutions to waste.

The county council’s civic pride team has supported local litter picking group Cleaner Chilton which organises local picks. Chilton Councillor Christine Potts leads the group, which meets on the first Saturday of every month.

Cllr Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “Operation Spruce Up is about the whole community and seeks to get everyone involved. This is important, as having clean and green spaces is something everyone can take pride in and enjoy.”

Operation Spruce Up has won much praise, winning Campaign of the Year at the Keep Britain Tidy Awards 20