This month we review the impact of the West Midlands Great Clean Up and Keep Meriden Tidy campaign, celebrate the 1,000th Love Solihull volunteer and give thanks to those youth groups and businesses who have offered their litter picking support

West Midlands Clean Up a success at Babbs Mill

West Midlands Combined Authority recently partnered with environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, to host the West Midlands Great Clean Up on Saturday 25 June.

Love Solihull supported the campaign by hosting a litter pick, alongside Keep Britain Tidy, at Babbs Mill Park and Local Nature Reserve.

The event was supported by the local community group, Clean & Green, as well as local Councillors and members of the Talking Rubbish in Solihull steering group.

Andy Street (Mayor of the West Midlands) visited the park and got involved during his tour of regional events.  We were also joined by Saqib Bhatti, MP for Meriden, who popped by during his Keep Meriden Tidy weekend.

The event provided the perfect opportunity to get the park ready for a Summer of sport, with the Commonwealth Games. It was also celebrated by the passing of the Queen’s Baton Relay through Babbs Mill on Tuesday 26 July.

The Babbs Mill pick was attended by 25 enthusiastic volunteers of all ages, who collected just under 30 bags of rubbish, and retrieved a variety of abandoned items including toys, tyres and even tinned paint!

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands commented:

“Every community wants to feel really proud of their local place and there is nothing worse than littering for spoiling that feeling of pride. We are going to have lots of visitors to the region over the Summer, so we want it to be looking its very best – but it’s not just about today, hopefully volunteers will get the bug, find out what good fun this is, and sign up to their local group.”

Saqib Bhatti, MP for Meriden said:

“This is such a beautiful park and it’s great to have so many volunteers picking up litter and keeping our area clean. We have the Commonwealth Games coming and we are going to have over a billion eyes on our patch, so it’s great to have it looking clean and absolutely welcoming to the rest of the world.”

Across the whole West Midlands region there were 17 litter picks, 300 bags of litter collected, 306 volunteers and 570 hours donated – which is an amazing achievement in one day!

Thank you to everyone who was part of making the Babbs Mill litter pick and the West Midlands Great Clean Up a big success.

Photo caption: Volunteers taking part in West Midlands Great Clean Up at Babbs Mill

Keep Meriden Tidy makes a welcome return

A second successful Keep Meriden Tidy weekend event was held between 25 to 26 June, hosted by Saqib Bhatti, MP for Meriden.

On Saturday, Saqib met with the newly formed litter picking group, Marston Green Wombles, before joining the West Midlands Great Clean Up at Babbs Mill, alongside established group, Clean & Green.

On Sunday, Saqib joined Balsall Common Litter Pickers – who now have more than 50 volunteers – before heading to Castle Bromwich, where the local group is fast approaching its 7,000th bag milestone.

Saqib also made a stop in Dorridge, where he was joined by the local u3a branch to litter pick around the park, alongside other local residents and members of Knowle & Dorridge Lions.

Over the campaign, more than 50 bags of litter were collected by 58 volunteers.

Well done to everyone involved in the campaign to help Keep Meriden Tidy.

Photo caption: Saqib Bhatti, MP and Councillor Tony Dicicco out litter picking

Julie is one in a thousand!

Six years after the first litter picking group was set up in Solihull, Julie Stephens has just become Love Solihull’s 1,000th registered volunteer litter picker!

We took the opportunity to meet Julie at Hillfield Park, along with Councillor Ken Hawkins and Jenny Bright from Talking Rubbish in Solihull to say thank you for joining the growing army of volunteers across Solihull.

We also met her grandchildren, Phoebe (5) and Oscar (8), who were keen to help their grandmother start litter pickin, and were delighted to receive a goodie bag from Love Solihull.

Read the full article here

Photo caption: (Front) Councillor Ken Hawkins, Julie Stephens, Jenny Bright and Alison Lee, Love Solihull (Back) Phoebe and Oscar


Youth in action to tackle litter across Solihull

This last couple of months have been particularly busy for youth organisations in Solihull, who have been dedicating their time to tackling litter in their local areas.

Following the Queen’s Platium Jubilee celebrations in June, 11th Solihull Scouts (aged 10-14) carried out a litter pick at Tudor Grange Park. The children were pleasantly surprised to see the park looking so clean after a busy bank holiday weekend, but enjoyed doing their bit for the community and collecting any litter they could find.

Towards the end of June, over 40 Scouts from 2nd Balsall Common group headed out across two evenings to collect litter from the village and Lavender Hall Park. The group, who collaborated with the Balsall Common Litter Pickers on which routes to take, were highly praised for their dedicated support.

During July, 5th Solihull ‘Attenborough’ Explorer Scouts (aged 14-18) collected four bags from streets close to their Scout Hut in Shirley.  2nd Shirley Scouts were also busy collecting bags of litter, which will go towards achieving their Chief Scout’s Gold Award; the highest award in the Scout section.

3rd Olton Beaver Scouts (aged 6-8) took part in a litter pick around Barn Lane Recreation Ground on Richmond Road, with the Cubs from this section also expected to carry out a litter pick later this month.

Finally, in Kingshurst, a group of young people (aged 16-25) from the local Prince’s Trust team collected 11 bags, accompanied by local volunteer, Joanne Cole, and Prince’s Trust Team Leader, PCSO Lewis Luckman.

Thank you to all the young people who have worked hard over the last few weeks to keep Solihull clean and litter free – you are true #LitterHeroes!

Photo caption: Bags filled by 2nd Balsall Common Scouts

Celebrate the joy of parks during Love Parks Week

Love Parks Week is back! From 29 July to 5 August, people across the country have the chance to shout about their wonderful green spaces.

Now in its tenth year, Love Parks Week supports the efforts of those volunteers and employees who help to protect our green spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Whether it’s walking the dog, picnicking with
friends, or pushing your little ones on a playground
swing – parks give communities, children and pets a vital space to play, grow and bond.

This year’s theme is all about celebrating the joy of parks, and Keep Britain Tidy is on a mission to find out the answer to who loves parks more – dogs or children? Visit @keepbritaintidy on Twitter and Instagram and share your pictures to help the nation decide (don’t forget to tag @lovesolihull #LoveParks too!)

Keep an eye out on our social media for plenty of ideas on how to enjoy your local park this Summer and see the best that Solihull parks have to offer.

Don’t forget to head to for details about this year’s competition to be in with a chance of winning £250 worth of Regatta goodies!

Veolia’s Transformation Team supports local community groups

Since the start of the Council’s new environmental contract in April, Veolia’s Transformation Team has been working hard to deep-clean various locations in Solihull.

Community steering group Talking Rubbish in Solihull worked with Love Solihull to suggest hot-spot areas where the team could direct their expertise, completing jobs such as cutting back overgrown vegetation, removing litter and clearing detritus from streets, parks and green spaces.

The team has successfully completed cleansing works in Tidbury Green, Olton, Balsall Common, Knowle, Hobs Moat, Castle Bromwich and Chelmsley Wood, to name a few and has been working alongside volunteers from the local community.

We want to say a special thank you to the team and all the volunteers who supported their clean-up efforts.


Photo credit: Highlights from Veolia’s Transformation Team around Solihull

Paragon Bank team bonding during litter pick

This month, colleagues from Paragon Bank, based in Solihull town centre, organised a team building day litter picking the shopping area on Hobs Moat Road and around Olton Jubilee Park.

The team had a fantastic time in the beautiful sunshine, collecting a total of six full bags of rubbish.

Thank you for choosing to be #LitterHeroes for the day and taking time away from your busy roles to help keep Solihull clean!

Photo caption: Colleagues from Paragon Bank litter picking in Olton Jubilee Park

Queen’s Baton Relay came to Solihull parks

The Queen’s Baton Relay made its way to Solihull on Tuesday 26 July before completing the final leg of its journey through Birmingham, and onto the opening ceremony of the Games.

There were some fantastic community events across the borough in parks and open spaces throughout the day, including Lavender Hall Park, Shirley Park, Babbs Mill and Hope Coppice.

To see what went on across Solihull, click here.


Luke gets lucky through the LitterLotto app!

Congratulations to Luke, an active volunteer litter picker from Smith’s Wood, who recently won the £1,000 weekly jackpot through the LitterLotto app.

LitterLotto is a free to enter monthly prize draw, with regular spot prizes and monthly jackpots, sponsored by brands that support a cleaner environment.

Luke has been using the app since December 2021 and has won almost £2,000, simply by taking pictures of his litter discoveries.

Using the LitterLotto app, Luke has been able to track the impact he is having on his local area:

“I’ve picked up nearly 10,000 pieces of litter! I’m a very active litter picker in Smith’s Wood and I try and do it every day, when I go for a walk after work.”

Well done Luke – we are very pleased that such a dedicated volunteer has been rewarded through this incentive.

Photo caption: Luke with his winning message (photo credit: LitterLotto)

Join your park ranger for a bat walk

Take part in a sensory walk at your local park

Solihull family services directory

The Family Services Directory which is maintained by the Solihull Family Information Service offers a one-stop shop to find out about activities for children, childcare, support services and the Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) scheme.

The directory is not only a fantastic tool for parents, but also a great place for local community groups to advertise their events and sessions which are aimed at families.

You can also sign up to the Solihull Parent’s Network to receive regular updates about activities in Solihull aimed at children.

Take a look at this year’s suggested Summer activities programme for plenty of ideas and days out during the school holidays.

Free Table Tennis in Solihull this Summer

With Table Tennis included in this Summer’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Solihull Active is running free Table Tennis sessions throughout July and August.

Sessions will be run by qualified Table Tennis England coaches who will teach participants the basics of the sport, along with lots of fun games.

No booking is required and all equipment is provided. Each participant will also receive a free pair of bats and balls so they can continue playing at one of the outdoor tables in Solihull.

For more information, locations and dates, visit the Solihull Active Table Tennis webpage, email: or call Solihull Active on 0121 704 8207

Could you volunteer as a Police Cadet Leader?

The Police Cadet scheme was introduced at West Midlands Police (WMP) in 2017 as part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

Cadets is aimed at young people aged 13-17 from all backgrounds, including those who may be vulnerable to the influences of crime and social expulsion.

The weekly sessions and activities are run during school term time and give Cadets an opportunity to become involved in a youth group, make new friends and learn about the Police.

The Cadets get to take part in numerous different activities, such as drill sessions, community volunteering and sports activities. They also have regular visitors and guest speakers, assist local policing teams in tasks such as knife sweeps, leaflet drops, and take part in local and regional events such as Birmingham Pride, Stephen Lawrence Day and Remembrance Day services.

The scheme operates across the force area, with cohorts of up to 30 Cadets per unit with the aim of:

  • Building active citizens
  • Providing early intervention
  • Acting as a platform for positive engagement between the Police and the community

In Solihull there are currently three Cadet units operating during term time:

  • Solihull 1 – Thursdays 4:30pm-6:30pm at Chelmsley Wood Police Station
  • Solihull 2 – Wednesdays 4:30pm-6:30pm at Arden Academy, Knowle
  • Solihull 3 – Saturdays 10am-12pm at Chelmsley Wood Police Station (Corps of Drums)

Over the past 12 months, Love Solihull and Planting Our Future have worked with the Police Cadets on activities such as litter picking and tree planting, and we have had a fantastic time supporting the young people in the units.

They are now looking to recruit more Volunteer Cadet Leaders and would love to receive applications from members of the local community. To find out what the role entails and what makes a good leader, visit the recruitment website and apply online.

More information can also be found via the national Volunteer Police Cadet website.


Love Solihull actively encourages residents and businesses to make a difference to the environment and support those who co-ordinate their own projects.

Email alerts will be sent out throughout the year giving information on environmental projects including what is happening in your area and how you can get involved.

More information can be found at

For more information about Council services, please see our website.


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