When Hubbub launched we put creative design at the heart of the charity. We felt that important environmental messages were often not reaching a mainstream audience because they were being communicated in a way that wasn’t fresh, innovative or playful.

We now have four designers and I never know what they are going to suggest next. I certainly wasn’t expecting to end up buying a horsebox. Here is why I was persuaded.

Over the past two years, as part of our Love Your Forest campaign which has been sponsored by Lucozade Ribena Suntory, we’ve been trialling creative solutions for raising awareness on the issue of littering in the Forest of Dean. Last year we launched our ultimate van-detta against littering; the Trashconverter.

The Trashconverter van toured the Forest of Dean, inviting people to swap their trash for treats, such as popcorn, flowers, and seeds. Over a two-week period, it visited 27 locations, gave out 2,418 treats and collected over 68 bags of litter.

Feedback was positive and we knew that this was something that we needed to include as a permanent fixture of the Love Your Forest campaign: something which could visit community events and spread a positive anti-littering message. However, the van pilot uncovered a series of problems:

Problem 1 - vans cost money

Vans are expensive to hire (who would have known?!). We needed a cheaper alternative. Purchasing a van would mean keeping up with its running costs, maintenance, and insurance. That is a lot of time and money to invest - would it be worth it?

Problem 2 - vans can break down

Driving an old vehicle around a vast area like the Forest of Dean creates mechanical problems; it struggled to keep up with the amount of litter and needed some help from a trailer and a mechanic.

Despite problems, the van had benefits. It looked great - when people saw it they immediately wanted to see what was happening. It was easy to set it up, which is crucial when you have a wide number of volunteers supporting the campaign.

We needed to find a cost-effective alternative whilst keeping the same aesthetic appeal and practicality. Options we explored included pop-up Trashconverter stalls that could be simply built at various events. These looked fantastic but lost the visceral feeling that the van evoked.

We realised that we weren’t looking for something new, but needed something old and reclaimed; something to be proud of - a feeling very familiar to the Forest of Dean. The solution we ended up with was a converted horse-box trailer.

This may seem an odd idea but we trotted forward and explored. We liked being able to reclaim a previously loved trailer and turning it into something new. It felt natural for the Love Your Forest campaign and was a similar way in which we previously transformed litter collected from the forest floor into the 'Communitrees' and 'litter shop of horrors'.

A specialist company in Liverpool was similarly excited by the prospect and managed to find us the perfect trailer, which is currently being transformed into our new Trashconverter. It will be unveiled on 29th April 2018 at the Forest Activities festival in the Forest of Dean.

As with all Hubbub campaigns, we will measure the impact of this new approach, sharing results good and bad. We are working with Lucozade Ribena Suntory and the community to ensure the campaign continues to have a strong local presence and continues for subsequent years. Our hope is that the involvement of Hubbub will build a legacy, leaving an ancient woodland with less litter helping to enhance tourism and protect nature.