THEIR usual patch might be Wimbledon Common, but York is getting its own team of Wombles to help keep the city litter-free.

Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy is aiming to identify companies whose products are most often found strewn around streets, parks and riverbanks, from fast food containers and sweet wrappers to drinks cans.

As part of England’s Great Litter Count, which began last week and is continuing this week, the charity has asked volunteers to track litter in communities, and teams who support City of York Council’s Smarter York scheme are doing their bit.

The Badger Hill Wombles are among those taking part, with members being asked to fill in online forms allowing Keep Britain Tidy to compile and publish results.

The voluntary group was formed by Badger Hill residents John Nixon and Elisa Main, who said: “Litter brings neighbourhoods down, which is why we decided to meet weekly to pick it up.

“Our aim is to improve the environment and encourage everybody to keep their own areas tidy and take their litter home when walking around the estate. It’s a healthy and rewarding way of contributing to their community.”

Coun David Levene, the council’s cabinet member for environmental services, said: “This is a great fit with Smarter York, working with businesses to help promote the good work they are doing while supporting them to do more, getting residents involved in helping to maintain their local area and raising awareness of the harm those who drop litter do.”

More information about Smarter York is at, on Twitter at @smarteryork or by phoning (01904) 551551.