A GROUP of residents banded together to clean up the streets of a village.

The Save Our Back Streets community group were on the case in Askam to clear left-behind debris and litter.

Around 40 people gathered in the area between Beach Street and Sharp Street, armed with bin bags and litter pickers.

Participants includings couts, brownies and residents made sure the back streets were spotless in time for summer, picking up discarded items including chairs and bits of wood.

Among the participants in the clean-up was Askam Councillor Ben Shirley, who said the turnout was a sign of the community spirit in the village.

Mr Shirley said: "Every year we come together and organise clean-ups across the area. This one was about cleaning up this communal area of green space.

"The turnout was overwhelming. People came in from the houses nearby put also from all over the village.

"This just shows how strong the sense of community spirit is in Askam and Ireleth.

"We cleared a lot of unused wood. I am pleased to say there wasn't a lot of litter, but there was mainly rubble and we cleared it all and it has made a heck of a difference.

"With the summer coming residents have told me they want to use the space for recreation and to see the wildlife. I think we'll go back to make some finishing touches."

The Mail’s Big Clean campaign, in collaboration with The Westmorland Gazette, aims to encourage our local communities to take pride in the areas where they live.

Sponsored by Kimberly Clark and Spirit Energy, it calls upon schools, community groups, businesses, resident associations and individuals to rid our streets of litter. To get involved and for help to organise your own litter pick email Vanessa.Sims@newsquest.co.uk or call 01229 840150.