STAFF at a Woking funeral home have been cleaning up the community after noticing a growing litter problem during lockdown.

Six colleagues from Woking Funeral Service, in Goldsworth Road, filled more than four bin bags in one day by walking four miles through the town, stopping at several littering hotspots along the way, including Woking Park.

Funeral arranger Louise Jarrett said: “Passers-by were cheering us on and clapping as we arrived in high-vis vests with litter pickers in hand. The littering problem is clearly one felt by a number of residents.”

Louise first noticed an excess of litter while on daily walks with her mother during lockdown. She was saddened by the state of the area along Hoe Stream, as well as by people throwing rubbish from cars.

She said: “If it weren’t for lockdown restrictions encouraging us to exercise more and make the most of the outdoors, we may never have seen just how bad the litter problem has got in this town.”

Mother and daughter began taking bin bags on their three-mile treks and were able to fill them with rubbish each time, so Louise decided to take it a step further and ask her colleagues at Woking Funeral Service for help.

She said: “I sent round an email and five of my colleagues immediately expressed an interest in doing something, so we set aside a Saturday for a four-mile walk.”

Louise ordered high-vis vests and litter pickers for the group before setting off on the two-hour route, where they found everything from cereal bowls to cutlery.

Louise said: “People from WEAct, a local environmental action group, were kind enough to bring us a beautiful plant after seeing what we were doing. Some passers-by also decided to help pick up rubbish with us.

“As well as being a constant eyesore for residents, the litter is incredibly harmful to the environment and local wildlife. I encourage anyone in the area to get involved and do some good for the town.”

Louise has joined WEAct on Facebook to continue reaching out to the community, and plans to organise more group litter picks in the future.