The Big Spring Clean, when communities and volunteers unite to tidy up County Durham, will this year take place between Monday 27th February and Sunday 16th April.

Run by voluntary organisation LitterFree Durham, with support from Durham County Council and Darlington Borough Council, the Big Spring Clean encourages people to get together to tidy up, clean up and ‘green up’ their communities.

People from all parts of County Durham and Darlington are being urged to sign up for the Big Spring Clean – which this year is marking its tenth anniversary – and organise a litter pick in their town, village or neighbourhood. 

Thousands of local people have taken part in the Big Spring Clean in recent years. The campaign fits well with Durham County Council’s determination to make the county a cleaner and greener place to live. 

Big Spring Clean Coming to County Durham
Last year’s Big Spring Clean saw 187 litter picks

The chair of LitterFree Durham, Gerald Lee, said, “The Big Spring Clean campaign represents a fantastic opportunity for people to really make a difference in their community.”

“Last year’s campaign saw 187 litter picks take place in the region and this year we’re hoping to top that.”

“Whether you’ve volunteered with us before or are new to it, we can provide everything you need to get started and even organise a litter pick of your own.”

Last year’s campaign saw 2,581 people putting in 4,982 volunteer hours. 2,478 bags of litter were collected.

Big Spring Clean Coming to County Durham
Nearly 2,500 bags of refuse were collected in last year’s campaign

In addition to the efforts of local residents, during 2016’s Big Spring Clean the Environment Agency used specialist equipment to lift a tree and other debris, weighing two-and-a-half tonnes, out of the River Gaunless in Bishop Auckland.  

Volunteers from The Skill Mill and Durham County Council’s Clean and Green and Civic Pride Team also picked up 30-sacks-worth of litter from the river’s banks. 

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said, “So far we’ve been delighted with LitterFree Durham’s annual Big Spring Clean event, but every year we aim to do better than the year before.” 

“That’s why this year we’re urging more and more people to sign up and really make a difference to their communities.”

Schools and community organisations are also invited to participate in the Big Spring Clean. 

If you would like to organise a litter pick in County Durham, call 0300 261 000 or email

To organise a litter pick in Darlington, please phone 01325 406 719 or email

To learn more about the Big Spring Clean, please visit     

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