We Can Do It awards: Gosport’s Wombles go from strength to strength

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigns across the Solent have exploded in popularity over the past 12 months.

But it was a community group set up in Gosport, which has swelled to more than 500 members, that took the prize for Care of the Environment at The News’ We Can Do It awards 2018.

The deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth David Fuller, right, presenting the Care of the Environment award to the Gosport Wombles. Picture: Sarah Standing

The deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth David Fuller, right, presenting the Care of the Environment award to the Gosport Wombles. Picture: Sarah Standing

The Gosport Wombles was set up with the goal of encouraging everyone to do their own little bit to combat litter in the town.

From litterpicking in parks to simply cleaning up their street, people can do as much or as little as they want – and the idea of ‘wombling’ has become incredibly popular in the town.

Nick Carter, one of the founding members of the group, said: ‘It’s very surprising that we’ve won the award, but it goes to show that caring for the environment in Gosport has taken on a whole new level of importance.

‘The Gosport Wombles have managed to make that more visible in the town – you see people out picking up litter and caring, which in turn inspires others to get involved.

‘It was quite common to see people out wombling when I was growing up and it’s starting to become a commonplace phrase again.’

Fellow womble Steph Suter said: ‘I’m totally speechless.

‘I think it shows how important wombling has become to so many people – and the recognition from the award will help to get more people picking up litter.’