LONDON, September 1 /PRNewswire/ --

LONDON, September 1 /PRNewswire/ --

- "Big Tidy Up" Launched With Recreation of 1954 Photo-Call

- With Photo

Keep Britain Tidy will turn the clock back half a century as it launches the biggest litter pick in history.

Thousands of organised clean-ups will take place as Keep Britain Tidy calls for a return to 1950s values - when people cared about their environment.

With levels of rubbish on our streets constantly unsatisfactory, the nationwide "Big Tidy Up" will see an unprecedented month-long blitz on litter.

Starting today, thousands of litter picks take place the length and breadth of the country. It's hoped half a million bin bags of litter will be collected. So far 6,000 groups have signed up.

The National Federation of Women's Institutes has pledged support. And thousands of its members are set to take part.

More than half a century ago Women's Institute chair Lady Elizabeth Brunner kick-started Britain's anti-litter movement. And the first anti-litter act was passed 50-years-ago this month.

Today (Monday September 1), two of Lady Brunner's great grand-daughters will repeat that very first rallying call and echo the sentiments from five decades ago.

Madeline Brunner 10 and Marnie Breadin, nine, will kick off the Big Tidy-Up by re-creating their great grandmother's 1954 photo-call at London's St James's Park. They will wear clothes from that era and hold placards bearing the very first slogan: "Please Take Litter Home".

Marnie said: "We have heard all about our great grandmother and how she started Keep Britain Tidy. We think she was cool to start it all off because she didn't like litter and we don't like litter either."

Phil Barton, Keep Britain Tidy chief executive said: "The Big Tidy Up will be the biggest organised litter pick this country has ever seen. Thousands of schools, businesses and community groups have already signed up and want to make a difference.

"We are turning the clock back to the era of our founding mother Lady Brunner because we want to see a return to 1950s attitudes.

"At that time litter was seen as being unacceptable. Unfortunately for a minority of people today, dropping litter seems to have become the norm - accepted even.

"If people are fed up with litter in their neighbourhood and want to make their area better, please go to which is helping communities get together to tidy up their patch."

The month-long campaign is being run by Keep Britain Tidy and partners: National Federation of Women's Institutes, British Trust For Conservation Volunteers (BTCV), Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), CleanupUK, Waste Watch and Thames21.

The Big Tidy Up follows on from the success of the Capital Clean Up campaign that took place in London earlier this year. The campaign, which focuses on making London the cleanest city on earth by the time the Olympics arrive in 2012, will run each spring between now and 2012. More information is available at

Environment Minister Jonathan Shaw said: "Fifty years on from the first Keep Britain Tidy campaign litter is still a big issue. People need to realise that their careless behaviour is ruining our streets and public spaces, when it only takes a moment to drop their litter in a bin instead.

"By discarding litter you are breaking the law and could be fined up to GBP80. It's also a costly business for local authorities, who spend more than half a billion pound a year picking it up - money that could be best spent elsewhere in the community.

"I wholeheartedly support the Big Tidy Up campaign and I urge everyone to get involved with the clean up activities in their areas."

Notes to editors: An image from the original 1954 photo-call is attached. Some stats: Dropping litter is an offence. It is illegal. Litter costs the taxpayer nearly GBP550m a year to clean-up. Nearly 44,000 people were issued with fixed penalty notices last year for littering. The most common litter today is smoking related closely followed by fast food litter.

THE LAUNCH: St James's Park (Marlborough Gate entrance), London. Monday September 1st, 10am.

Keep Britain Tidy will turn the clock back half a century to mark the launch of its Big Tidy Up campaign. We will recreate the historic very first anti-litter photo-call from 1954. The great grandchildren of Lady Elizabeth Brunner will dress in clothes of that era and repeat the rallying call from half a century earlier. Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Phil Barton and other spokespeople will be available for interviews. A huge tidy-man, the iconic image of Keep Britain Tidy will provide the backdrop on the day. The 12 foot structure is made entirely out of litter.

We also have Keep Britain Tidy spokespeople available for radio interviews all day. We have an ISDN line and are happy to do pre-record interviews on Friday August 29th - as long as they are not aired until Monday September 1.

A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA Photowire. It can be downloaded from or viewed at or

Further information from Keep Britain Tidy press office: Dickie Felton: +44(0)1942-612-617 / +44(0)7768-880016,; Fiona Birkett: +44(0)1942-612-688,; Ginette Unsworth: +44(0)1942-612-623,