Father and son litter pickers collect more than 160 bags of rubbish from Leicestershire lay-by

By Luke Williamson

A father and son duo from South Leicestershire collected more than 50 bags of rubbish from a lay-by near Lutterworth.

South Leicestershire Litter Wombles (SLLW) members Scott and John Gibbins finally cleared the lay-by near Cotesbach on the A426 a week ago last Sunday (FEB28).

Scott, 52, said: “My son and I have picked this lay-by three times now and we have finally cleared it completely.

“We picked 54 bags this time, which makes it more than 160 bags of litter picked from there in total.

“We found 10 full bags of plastic and glass bottles alone,” Scott said.

Scott Gibbins and son John collected hundreds of bags of rubbish from Leicestershire lay-by. Picture: Scott Gibbins (Facebook.com)

Previous picks by the pair at the lay-by saw them find about 110 bags, as well as a large number of lorry tyres. 

SLLW, along with the North Leicestershire Litter Wombles and similar groups in neighbouring counties are also collecting any aluminium cans they can which are being donated towards the building of a new helipad at the Royal Infirmary Hospital in Leicester.

Scott said: “We are hoping to collect 5 million cans to help build a helipad for the Royal Infirmary, so we take a bag for life with us all the time to fill with cans.

“We managed to get three bags full this time which will help the cause massively, as the cans all need to be crushed and melted down to be used.”

The group has grown exponentially in the past 12 months, but particularly since the start of 2021, surpassing 13,000 bags of litter collected for the first two months alone, which is incredibly close to last year’s total of about 15,500.

Keeping the planet clean motivates Scott to go out on litter picking, with a famous face getting in touch with him to thank him for the group’s efforts.

“I received a handwritten letter of thanks from Sir David Attenborough, after I had written to him a few weeks back telling him all we are achieving in Leicestershire.

“I was well chuffed when I saw it.

The handwritten letter Scott Gibbins received from Sir David Attenborough

“When you sit back and look at somewhere you have picked and think the wonderful wildlife have a great place to live now.

“Last year should have been a fresh start for us to look after our planet and we are the ones who can make the change now.”

Scott wants to see more students from the city’s universities getting involved, as litter picks are not that common in the city centre.

“We are really short on city-area Wombles so students could make a massive difference, I realise they will be busy studying but it is a great way to spend a couple of hours a week. 

“It is wonderful to see so many people getting involved with litter picking, people ask what is the point but then what is the point in most things we do? I do this instead of going fishing now, because what is the point of fishing, at least this is making a difference.”

You can follow the South or North Leicestershire Litter Wombles on their respective pages on Facebook.