Runners only manage one of five mile litter run in Purbrook after collecting 10 bags of waste

DISGUSTED runners picked up 10 bags of rubbish during a clean-up of their favourite route this weekend.

Saturday, 11th January 2020, 3:44 pm
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 10:58 am

Claire Fleming and friends Jenny Campbell and Kiernen Easton regularly run around Purbrook and Portsdown Hill and are left disheartened by the amount of litter and fly-tipping they encounter on their journeys.

This weekend the trio, who manage running company On The Whistle together, invited other runners to join them in a five-mile litter along what is commonly known as the Ladies Purbrook Five.

Claire, 48, said: ‘It is absolutely awful how much litter there is along the roads that people have clearly thrown out their car windows. If I had done that my dad would have shot me.

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Portsmouth Runners Cleaning Up Purbrook starting along Purbrook Heath Road - Del Roberts collects a plastic sack as other runners look for litter behind him. Picture: Vernon Nash (110120-008)

‘It is bottles, cans, cartons and takeaway rubbish which is all things people could just take home with them and bin instead. The fly-tipping is also really bad around here.

‘Our motto in running is only leave footprints and it is truly sad that people leave a lot more.’

The group only managed one mile of their run due to the sheer amount of rubbish they picked up, which will be collected by TJ Waste on Monday, but Claire hopes to hold the event again.

Kiernen, 45, said: ‘As runners who love running in the countryside, we want to run in nice places and running past McDonald's wrappers when there isn’t a McDonald's that nearby is disheartening because people could just take it all the way home.

Portsmouth Runners Cleaning Up Purbrook starting along Purbrook Heath Road - Del Roberts collects a plastic sack as other runners look for litter behind him. Picture: Vernon Nash (110120-008)

‘Of course it isn't just McDonald’s litter but regardless of what it is, it is disgusting and it harms our environment as well.’

It comes after Hampshire County Council announced all residents must register their vehicles for using household waste recycling centres before a £5 charge is introduced later this year for all non-registered users in a bid to deal with the £100m annual costs of the county's household waste.

But runner Jenny isn’t so sure of the plans.

She added: ‘Although money-wise it makes sense, I think it will increase fly-tipping because people won’t remember to register or can’t in the county and our roads will suffer.

Portsmouth Runners Cleaning Up Purbrook starting along Purbrook Heath Road - Organiser Claire Fleming found a lot of litter within a few yards of the starting point. Picture: Vernon Nash (110120-001)

‘When we went on a morning run recently, Claire and I were running ahead of Kiernen and at the end he said he had seen waste fly-tipped in the road but we hadn’t, which means someone had dumped it in the middle of the day.

‘It is truly awful.’

Bags and equipment for the litter run were donated by company Minster.