A GROUP of 40 environmentally-conscious residents from the Barringtons has won the £500 first prize in Cotswold District Council’s 2018 Great Cotswolds Clean-up competition.

A runners-up prize of £300 has been awarded to a team from Coln Valley while the third prize of £200 goes to Bourton-on-the-Water Primary School.

Judges from the council reviewed the efforts of the volunteer litter picker groups who signed up for the competition and after drawing up a shortlist of six contenders they visited each site and met the organisers to discuss their projects in more detail.

Working together, the Barrington participants filled 30 large sacks with rubbish and recycled over 100 cans that they found along roadsides. They also uncovered a wide range of dumped items such as car tyres, an iron sheet and an old mattress.

An entry from Bourton-on-the-Water Primary School involved almost 80 children – accompanied by several teachers and relatives – collecting litter along principal routes to the school.

Cllr Sue Coakley, cabinet member for the environment at CDC and head of the judging panel, said: “All the teams who entered this competition deserve a huge ‘well done’ for their efforts – it makes a real difference when communities come together and carry out litter picks and other environmental improvements, and I know that many people are doing this on a regular basis throughout the year.

“At the Barringtons, the judging panel was particularly impressed by the way in which meticulously organised litter picking efforts had boosted community morale to the extent that many locals have now formed new friendships.

"The Barringtons group will be using the prize money to procure more litter bins and will use the remainder to enhance the environment generally.

“The runners-up in the Coln Valley were also very well organised and efforts to involve a wide range of residents were particularly noteworthy.

The organisers attracted volunteers of all age groups and were full of ideas about cutting back on waste in future. They will be spending their £300 prize money on litter picking equipment and special hoops to insert in waste bags, making it easier to fill them.

“Team members from third placed Bourton Primary are to be commended for their sheer enthusiasm.

"The school children clearly relished the challenge of litter picking and it was very encouraging to hear about their respect for the environment. They will spend their £200 prize on litter bins and litter picking equipment.”

The Council ran the competition from March 2 to April 29, incorporating the national ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign which took place on the first weekend in March.