Father and son launch Catterick Garrison litter blitz

Lee Atkins with son Josh.

A father and son have launched a campaign to tidy up Catterick Garrison after being unimpressed by the amount of litter in the town.

Serving soldier Lee Atkins and son Josh, 10, were walking back from the Spar at White Shops to their home in Quentin Avenue when they noticed the amount off rubbish littering the footpaths.

The pair decided to organise a litter pick and dad set up a Facebook page to get more people involved.

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Josh came up with the idea of calling the page Catterick Garrison CLEAN Up Crew.

The plan is to organise a litter pick once a month on a Sunday.

The first will take place this Sunday with volunteers meeting in Coronation Park at 2pm.

Lee, who serves with the The 4th Regiment Royal Artillery at Topcliffe, said: “We set up the page with the aim of getting 100 followers over a few weeks but it’s only been a week and we’ve already got more than 130.

“The summer is coming and with all the broken glass and rubbish in the bushes it’s not nice for kids to play out.

“There’s also the Tour de Yorkshire coming next month so it would be good to get the garrison tidied up.”

The idea has caught the imagination of a number of groups who have offered to get involved, including Garrison Rainbows and Josh’s school, Le Cateau Primary.

Military bosses on the garrison have offered their support, while Richmondshire District Council is to provide litter picking equipment.

Lee, 36, said he was pleased for Josh who was still getting over the loss of his older brother, Chris, who died suddenly in 2016.

Lee, who has 11 children with wife Kirstie, said Chris was two years older than Josh and the pair were very close.

Lee said: “It’s only recently that we’ve been able to get him to school after we lost Chris. He’s a quiet boy and quite reserved so to see this idea growing so quickly is fantastic for him.”