A group aimed at keeping the community tidy has become extremely popular with local schools and pupils, attracting over 1,200 members.
The Wyberton Wombles of Boston, initially called Wyberton Wombles, was set up by Steve Slater and Steph Leyland in March after Mr Slater became frustrated with the amount of litter around Boston and the surrounding villages.
The group is sponsored by local companies, with funds assigned to providing vital equipment including litter pickers, hoops, planters, bulbs and customised high-visibility vests.
Press Officer for the Wombles, Lynne Wheatley, said: “Wombling is really taking off in Boston and surrounding villages.
“The ethos is to educate the public, and in particular the younger generation, to care for their environment and be responsible for their surroundings.
“As well as Wyberton and Boston, Wombles groups have also been set up in Kirton, Sutterton and Fishtoft.”
Major clean-ups already undertaken by the group include areas around Skirbeck Church, John Adams Way and various war memorials. When Pilgrim Hospital requested help to clean its grounds, 60 Wombles marched to the site to help.
Lynne said: “The Wombles go out daily in their local area to keep on top of any litter problems. Major improvements have been seen at all the lay-bys on the A16 and Womble work has included refurbishment of bus shelters too – carried out following donations of materials and paint. The group is also working closely with the council to combat fly-tipping.
“All of the Voyage Education Partnership’s academies have joined the group but we are still actively recruiting other schools, both primary and secondary.”
Two Boston schools already involved in the project are Park Academy and Staniland Academy, both part of the Voyage Education Partnership.
Clare Bailey, Park Academy’s Deputy Headteacher, said: “We have a SMSC (social, moral, spiritual and cultural) pathway passport at our academy, which we use so pupils in each year group can experience something beyond their ‘normal’ curriculum.
“Helping the community and litter picking are a major part of these, so the Wombles group is ideal.”
Staniland Academy’s Deputy Headteacher Kerry Carr said: “We noticed the fantastic work the Wombles had been doing and our children wanted to help. Our community and being proud of our town are extremely important, so it seemed like a perfect way to help.
“We are sponsored by Sylvia’s Salon in Kirton and have so many children who want to be a ‘Womble’. Our ‘Mini Wombles’ club now meets weekly and ensures the streets around school are maintained and tidy. We love it!”
Staniland Academy is now a hub for the project, enabling local Wombles, schools, and residents to collect litter picking materials directly from the academy.
A spokesperson for Boston Borough Council said: “We are proud to support the Wyberton Wombles of Boston Common.
“They, and all other litter champions in the borough, are doing such a fantastic job. The council are so grateful for all the work they are doing.”
Other schools set to start working with the project soon include Boston’s Carlton Road and Pioneers academies. Students from Haven High Academy are also recycling cans to assist the project.