Rope trick helps clean up cliffs

Council member of staff Ritchie Barnes clearing litter from the cliffs overlooking Cullercoats Bay.
Council member of staff Ritchie Barnes clearing litter from the cliffs overlooking Cullercoats Bay.

COUNCIL staff were roped into carrying out a litter-pick with a difference.

Three green wardens at North Tyneside Council removed 200kg of hard-to-reach rubbish by abseiling down cliffs at Cullercoats Bay.

The trio – Richie Barnes, Chris Dominiczak and Stuart Mclean – used ropes and harnesses usually used for tree surgery works.

Items removed included bottles, a child’s scooter and part of a bench.

The cliff tidy-up was part of the council’s Big Spring Clean campaign.

Ritchie said: “The litter-pick has made a big difference. The area looks a lot better.

“We attached ourselves to anchor points at 10ft intervals on the railings at the top of the cliffs. The cliffs are quite sheer in places. In one spot, it was a vertical drop until I reached a ledge where litter had gathered.

“Passers-by were watching us as we did the work and gave us some really positive feedback, but they felt it was ridiculous that we had to do it, all because of people who didn’t dispose of their rubbish properly.”

The council’s Big Spring Clean runs until May 27 and it is organising two more clean-up events people can take part in.

They will take place, from 11am to 1pm, on Thursday, April 21, at Churchill Playing Fields in Whitley Bay and Saturday, May 21, at Marden Quarry.

To register a clean-up event or to find out if one is happening near where you live, visit the council’s website, www.northtyneside.gov.uk, e-mail bigspringclean@northtyneside.gov.uk or call 0345 2000103.