Offbeat Video
litter pickers

By Mike Jones

These volunteers are real litterbugs – as they scale the rock face to get rid of unwanted trash.

The extreme litter pickers spent an entire weekend picking cans, crisp packets and even used nappies and toilet roll out of the crags.

Pic by Will condie / trekitt /Caters News

The exercise, which saw 88 climbers work to clear climbing routes near Symonds Yat in Herefordshire, was aimed at clearing away all the rubbish left behind by the public.

Some of the volunteers travelled over 100 miles just to take part.

Pic byWill condie / trekitt /Caters News

Photos from the rock face show volunteers scaling multiple rock faces to recover the litter hiding in the crags.

Pic by Will condie / trekitt /Caters News

The event, dubbed YatFest, was organised by two local outdoor instructors, Graham Hassall and Bob Thomas.

Graham, owner of Summit Mountaineering, said: “I’d like to say that we came up with an altruistic idea whilst meditating on top of a rock.

“We actually poached the idea from TremFest, a similar event at a wonderful climbing site in North Wales.

Pic by Will condie / trekitt /Caters News


Pic by Will condie / trekitt /Caters News

“The idea was well received by the Forestry Commission, who own and manage the crag here on behalf of the nation. They supported us at every turn.

“It took a few more e-mails, meetings and drafts of risk assessments that we might have first imagined, but none more than has been necessary and they’ve all contributed to the event’s success.

Pic by Will condie / trekitt /Caters News

“We recovered just about everything you could imagine – dirty nappies, crisp packets, beer cans, used toilet roll and a smashed up metal dustbin.

“I’m proud to say that I don’t think any of it was left by climbers who tend to have a strong connection with the environment and a strong ethic of ‘taking only photos and leaving only footprints’.

Pic by Will condie / trekitt /Caters News

“It’s difficult not to feel a little angry at someone who bothered to carry in a six pack of beer and a takeaway but couldn’t be bothered to take it away again.”