Litter pickers were left feeling ‘saddened’ and ‘lost for words’ after seeing large amounts of rubbish dumped in the Great Lever area at the weekend.

Karen Liptrot, of the Highfield and New Bury Litter Pickers and Community Group in Farnworth, alongside 40 volunteers from across the borough came together on Sunday, March 3, to take part in a multi-group clean-up after Rupert Street was highlighted as having a bad fly-tipping problem.

Multi-group litter picks happen each Sunday with groups from across Bolton joining forces to clean-up hotspot areas.

The volunteers in this case managed to fill 253 bags with rubbish down the embankment, the old railway line and along Rupert Street.

Karen said in the three years she has been litter-picking this is the worst she has seen the area.

She said: “I lead Highfield and New Bury Litter Pickers and Community Group up in Farnworth and every Sunday volunteers meet up from across Bolton and we take part in what we call a multi-group pick.

"It is where we identify areas in the town that need attention because they are either heavily littered, or fly tipped.

The Bolton News: Fly-tippingFly-tipping (Image: Karen Liptrot)“Rupert Street in Great Lever was identified by one of the local volunteers to that area about a month ago, so I ventured down on Saturday afternoon to have a look at the situation, and I just could not believe what was in front of my eyes.

“There were hundreds of fly-tipped black bin bags down the embankment, the old railway line and along the length of Rupert Street and I was just lost for words, saddened, and had mixed emotions really.

“I have never seen it in such a state, I have been litter picking now for three years and I would say Sunday was probably the worst state we have ever seen that section in.

“After I saw how bad it was, I did a Facebook post and we got around 40 volunteers helping out on Sunday, normally on a Sunday we have around 20 volunteers.

“It was outstanding, we got support from the local McDonalds on Manchester Road, the 12th Bolton Cub and Scout Group were also brought down by their leaders, and we had our regular Sunday multi-group pick volunteers attend too as well as three new volunteers from the local area.

“We are going back down to the area next Sunday because we didn’t manage to clear it all.

“I counted a total of 253 bags after the litter picking on Sunday.

The Bolton News: Fly-tipping on Rupert StreetFly-tipping on Rupert Street (Image: Karen Liptrot)Read more of our top stories here:

“We find that we do go back to the same spots, but we tend to go back to areas where there is not an active litter picking group therefore it gets littered, its not cleaned and more people add to it.”

Karen said the litter picking groups from across the borough just want to make Bolton a cleaner and better place to live.

She said: “We just want to try and make a better Bolton, we want to make a cleaner Bolton, we are not negative about it, we stay positive.

“I have linked in with the south of Bolton enforcement officer at Bolton Council who is keen to work with the volunteers moving forward to improve this area and other areas within the south.

“It is good too that the enforcement officer for the south has got the same vision that we have.

“If we all continue to work together; volunteers, the council, housing associations, and businesses, we will be able to bring behaviour change in these areas that are standing out to be grot spots within the borough.

“It is just a massive issue around the town unfortunately in certain areas and it is just about working together to tackle these problems to improve the borough, making it the best it can be.

“We have received a lot of support from Gareth Pike, volunteer co-ordinator from Bolton Council who supports the volunteers by providing the litter pickers with equipment and he also takes part in litter picks, he is actively involved in supporting the volunteers.

“He started in September and that was definitely a positive move from the council as he is very keen and passionate at what he does.”

Karen said residents are welcome to join in with litter-picking, for more information about the group, go to ‘Highfield & New Bury Litter Pickers & Community Group’ on Facebook.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at or DM me on X @chloewjourno.