A south Shropshire mum has picked up more than 13,000 pieces of litter in the last year and wants others to join her.

Helen Morris, 42, from Cleobury Mortimer, learnt about ‘plogging’ on Instagram that is litter picking while running and has picked up the majority of the litter she has collected during runs, carrying a small bag which she empties into bins en route.

She has started the Facebook group Keep Cleobury Tidy, to encourage others to join her, and the Cleobury Mortimer Litter Impact Project to raise awareness of the environmental impact of litter. Ms Morris is working with the town council to provide litter picking equipment for the community.

“I have never been a person who would drop litter but I didn’t take a particular interest in it either,” said the mum of two.

“I guess like most people I didn’t really see it or give it a second thought. I have been on the odd litter pick and when a running club member planned one for May 2020 I planned to go along. We all know how plans for 2020 went but as we couldn’t do the group pick I decided to order some litter pickers from the Internet and go anyway with the kids.”

With less work due to Covid, and her children returning to school in September, Ms Morris began devoting more time to litter picking.

“I count every piece of litter I collect and by the end of 2020 I was up to 13,000 pieces,” she added.

“I wanted to find a way to encourage more people to pick up litter as well as getting people not to drop it in the first place. I had the idea of running a monthly photo competition for 2021 and Cleobury Mortimer Litter Impact Project was born.

“People submit images to the Facebook page, the best one each month wins a prize, sponsored by local people and businesses. It can be a photo, drawing, poster, art, even a computer generated image.