South Lakeland District Council has joined forces with school children and Cumbria Police to help keep a popular play area and pump track litter-free.
The council has unveiled new signs at Queen’s Park in Windermere after nine-year-old Ava Mitchell won a competition to design a piece of artwork encouraging everyone to use the park’s bins or take their rubbish home.
Competition winner Ava Mitchell, a pupil at St Martin and St Mary, said: “Litter harms animals and I love animals so they need to be looked after. Litter also makes the place look messy. We need to look after the world.”
Polly Straker, South Lakeland District Council Locality Team Leader, explained: “With summer nearly here, the last thing any of us want is for the park to be spoiled by litter or for anyone to be injured by the likes of broken glass.
“We hope that everyone will heed Ava’s message to keep Queen’s Park safe and clean for all.”
Known locally as “The Rec”, Queen’s Park was upgraded by South Lakeland District Council last year with a new-look £120,000 playground and a £50,000 pump track for cyclists, following years of fundraising with community group Windermere Park For All.
The competition to design a sign was run by PSPO Sarah Blacow, Police Community Support Officer for Windermere with South Lakeland District Council suppling prizes for the winner and two runners-up.
Entries were invited from pupils at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School and St Martin and St Mary CE Primary School, both in Windermere.
Councillor Eamonn Hennessy, South Lakeland District Council portfolio holder for Customer and Locality Services, added: “It’s very gratifying to find young people getting involved in such initiatives and taking pride in their community, setting an example to those around them.”
PSPO Sarah Blacow praised the Windermere Mini Police group for children for doing “a cracking job” during a recent litter pick at Queen’s Park.
She explained: “They found all sorts including, sadly, quite a bit of broken glass. But because of their sharp eyes we have saved others, including dogs, from being harmed.
“Making young people aware of litter being a problem hopefully educates them into later life and influences other people around them to have a sense of pride in their local community.”
The next phase of the Queen’s Park refurbishment is to raise £50,000 to replace the skate park.
If you would like to get involved, you can contact Windermere Park For All via their Facebook page.