The efforts of an Egremont resident and town councillor to tidy up the area is having a knock-on effect, with others stepping up to help rid the town of grot spots.

Tom Higgins has repeatedly cleared areas of litter in Egremont, and now says people are starting to join him in attacking the litter.

Councillor Higgins said two underpasses in the town – middle underpass and the one by East Road garage – are repeatedly being targeted for spates of littering, usually on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

He again cleaned the underpass by East Road garage on October 18, and received a helping hand from a man called Raymond.

Barbara Mazurek also often helps Tom in attempts to clear up the town.

Tom said: “People are starting to join in now, Brian Smith looks after Castle Croft and will keep the area clear and Peter Gifkins is doing a sterling job at the castle. He takes his dog for a walk and goes armed with a bag, a stick and a brush and shovel for the glass.”

Tom said tidying the areas has made his walks less boring, and the grot spots are becoming harder to find. But he still managed to collect 16 bags of rubbish last week and has removed a couple of hundred bags from the town in the last couple of months. He said youths congregate in the underpasses and “some – not all – are revelling in smashing any bottles they can get hold of.”

He said this is a nightmare for people with prams, or dogwalkers, as the glass cuts the tyres and the dogs' paws. When he hears of smashed glass he tries to get there as soon as he can.

He said: “I’m not condemning the youngsters – kids will be kids, and they need somewhere to go. They don’t drink much, but if there are 15 or 20 of them and they each have a couple of cans or bottles it mounts up. There is plastic and sweetie wrappers too – I can clear it up in the morning and it reappears over lunchtime.”

“But there is absolutely no need for them to keep smashing every bottle they come into contact with.”

Tom is grateful to the help from residents, but says it is totally voluntary. It is not an organised litter pick, so people would have to make sure that they are keeping Covid-safe.