COMMUNITY groups across the Cotswolds are being encouraged to roll up their sleeves, put on their high-viz jackets and tidy up their town or village.

Now in its third year, Cotswold District Council is running its Great Cotswolds Clean up prize competition offering communities a share in a £1,000 prize fund.

As part of the competition, which gets underway on Friday, March 2, schools, community groups and other volunteers (such as brownies) are being encouraged to carry out a litter pick in their communities, take ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs and indicate how they would use the prize money to enhance their environment.

The launch of the competition coincides with Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean weekend.

There will be three prizes on offer in the CDC competition (£500 for first, £300 for second and £200 for third).

To enter email or call 01285 623123 and provide the location of your litter pick, together with the name of a community representative who is willing to liaise with the Council.

The council will expect to see 'before’ and ‘after’ photographs of the area being tidied, and to receive details of the size of the work party.

When the competition concludes, a panel of CDC judges will draw up a short-list and visit the finalists to assess the work done.

Cllr Sue Coakley, CDC Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “There are so many residents who are enthusiastic about keeping the Cotswolds clean and tidy, and last year’s competition entrants clearly had a lot of fun in the process. Running this prize competition is a small gesture to thank everyone for their efforts.

“We can supply bags, pickers, gloves and high visibility jackets for clean-up work, and it will help our environmental team if volunteers could stagger the take-up over the duration of the competition so that we can use our resources to best effect."

The council can also arrange for Ubico Ltd to make special collections of filled bags after litter picks. Please call 01285 623123 for assistance with equipment or collection of filled bags.