ENVIRONMENTAL charity Keep Britain Tidy has launched a new addition to support its national network of volunteer litter-pickers.

The #LitterHeroes environmental programme, made possible thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery and its Earth Trust, empowers individuals and groups to keep their communities litter-free.

New and existing volunteers can now register for the scheme and will receive ongoing support, guidance and benefits when they do.

The charity defines a #LitterHero as “someone who is interested in actively volunteering their time to pick up litter, reduce waste and improve the environment around them”.

It launched the support scheme after recording around 6,000 volunteers on one social media group alone, showing the public’s growing appetite for taking action to protect our precious spaces from litter pollution.

Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, said: ‘Our #LitterHeroes movement is a way for us to support - and recognise - all the hard work done by thousands of our volunteers who work tirelessly to make their streets, parks and beaches clean and healthy spaces that everyone can enjoy.

‘We’re delighted to be able to offer enhanced support and advice through the revamped registration scheme, and we’d be thrilled to welcome even more like-minded people into our #LitterHeroes family to help us continue our fight to keep Britain tidy.’

As well as blighting our streets, parks and beaches, litter harms wildlife, domestic pets and livestock, and costs us nearly £1 billion a year to clean up.

This year alone so far, Keep Britain Tidy’s #LitterHeroes have collected more than 16,000 bags of litter, on top of the 449,000 bags collected during the charity’s annual Great British Spring Clean campaign.

They are supported by 170 volunteer #LitterHeroes Ambassadors who help oversee their activities.

Registered #LitterHeroes will benefit from a new dedicated webpage and new resources to help them with their litter-picking efforts, organise events and connect with other local #LitterHeroes.

Registration will give them exclusive access to campaigns and content from fellow #LitterHeroes, access to the official downloadable Keep Britain Tidy #LitterHeroes logos for social media, equipment, posters and a new quarterly newsletter.

Volunteers who register will also have access to a dedicated staff member to respond to queries and give advice.