A CONSERVATION charity is calling on people to join a mass clean up of Taunton next month.

Somerset Wildlife Trust is running its own river-based litter pick in French Weir and is urging other groups and individuals to organise their own events on the same day.

Organisers hope the #BigTauntonLitterPick on Tuesday, November 13, becomes an annual date in the garden town's calendar.

They are appealing to businesses, community groups, schools and residents to help clean up the town for people and wildlife, ensuring our green spaces and waterways are attractive and healthy and helping wildlife to survive and thrive.

Once you've arranged your litter pick, contact the trust so it can advertise it on a dedicated web page.

For people unable to help at one of the organised cleans, SWT will also be promoting a #2minutestreetclean so everyone can get involved in a small way on their own patch.

Jolyon Chesworth, the trust’s nature and wellbeing manger, said: "Taunton has recently been awarded garden town status, but like many urban areas we have a huge problem with litter, particularly in our green spaces and the numerous waterways that flow through the town.

"It’s not just how litter looks – it has an impact on the quality of our streams and rivers and on the urban wildlife that also makes its home in our town.

"It’s a sorry sight to watch a brood of ducklings swimming around discarded plastic bottles or shopping trolleys in the river, and depressing to think of our favourite town mammals ingesting or getting entangled in some of the things we carelessly discard.

"As the litter in our rivers and canals will often reach our beaches, what we do in our town has a real impact on our ability to support wider efforts to reduce marine plastics."

Working with a volunteer group from Viridor Waste Management and Inland Waterways, and with the help of Channel Adventure and COACH, trust volunteers will be taking to Canadian canoes at French Weir to collect as much plastic from the river as possible.

To find out how to get involved, contact Olivia Dullaghan at Somerset Wildlife Trust on 01823-652407 or e-mail Olivia.dullaghan@somersetwildlifetrust.org