VOLUNTEERS are preparing to give Romsey a spring clean up.

Residents will be out in force on April 6 to remove rubbish from the market town.

This comes after a borough council-led initiative has seen 634 bags of litter collected from road verges across the borough over the past few weeks.

Now the Romsey and District Society, is to run the litter pick up in Romsey.

Chairman Mark Cooper said: "It has been going for a number of years. I have been doing the litter pick up for at least seven years. It is very important because it gives people an opportunity to contribute to their town. We are clearing away the litter from the bushes and along the stream banks. It also makes the town look a lot tidier."

As previously reported, the group runs the initiative in the market town twice a year.

In October last year they collected 700 kilograms of rubbish and litter from the town’s stream banks and footpaths.

Cllr Cooper said the initiative is getting bigger and bigger and hopes more volunteers will come forward in the future.

Residents will have to be at the Crosfield Hall on April 6 at 9.15am to sign in.

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) will support the initiative by providing the equipment needed.

The event organised by the Romsey and District Society comes after TVBC's contractor, Forest Traffic Services, completed its annual clean-up of the A303 and A34 verges, laybys and slip roads within the borough.

The authority said it took around three weeks to complete the work, with 634 bags of litter collected amounting to nearly three tonnes of litter and other roadside debris. The work is carried out between January and March each year.

Cllr Graham Stallard, environment portfolio holder at TVBC, said:“Now the clean-up is complete, the difference is staggering. I find it horrendous that in just one year, so much litter has been discarded along these two roads.

“The most common items we’ve collected are drinks related such as bottles and cups. They can only have been thrown out of vehicle windows with such disregard for the local environment. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the area they live in is treated with respect. I would urge everyone to dispose of their litter in the correct way. Just take it home and put it in your bin.”

It coincides with the Great British Spring Clean, a national campaign led by Keep Britain Tidy and the Year of Green Action which encourages more people to get involved in projects which aim to improve the natural world.