Creative ways to tackle litter in rural areas, using the latest thinking and designs from around the world.

We all want clean and safe spaces around us. Our public polling discovered that a staggering 86% of people think littering is a disgusting habit yet only 15% of us would actually confront someone and tell them that.

Country roads and ancient woodlands strewn with litter is a rubbish problem to have. Each year 250 tonnes of rubbish are removed from the Forest of Dean area in Gloucestershire, alone, costing local tax-payers more than £430,000 a year. For every kilometre of road cleaned, three full black sacks of rubbish are collected. Yes sir yes sir, three bags full.

The #LoveYourForest campaign explores different ways to reduce littering in the Forest of Dean area. Over the past three years we have tried a variety of interventions to help raise awareness on this issue. This included a pop-up litter shop displaying 33-year old litter collected from the forest floor, Communitree faces hung around the forest, the 'Trashconverter' inviting members of the public to swap their trash for treats, and our litter-free picnic inspiration guide with opportunities to win picnic prizes over social media. You can read about all these interventions and their impact in our 2018 impact report. 

The litter shop of horrors

Litter from yesteryear was collected from the forest floor and displayed in a one-off art installation. Some vintage pieces even date back 33 years depicting that litter lasts for a very very very long time. Read more.

The Communitrees

If only trees had eyes…well here they did! Weird and wonderful tree faces designed by local children were attached to 50 trees in the Forest of Dean to keep watch on littering. The theory behind the idea came from research revealing that if you feel like you're being watched you're less likely to conduct the undesired behaviour. Read more.

The 2016 campaign generated a high level of local engagement; 30 organisations contributed to the initial research and scoping discussions; 14 primary schools and 2 secondary schools participated in anti-littering educational activities. At least 2,850 local people were actively engaged in the campaign.

Litter monitoring around the Communitree installations indicated a 30% reduction in local litter levels and 82% of people polled would like to see similar projects in the future. 

Read our three year Love Your Forest impact report: