Volunteers join forces to have Elm Row looking Ship Shape

Volunteers of all ages joined forces to clean up one of Edinburgh’s most popular thoroughfares and the streets around it.

Ship Shape Elm RowMore than 50 primary six pupils from St Mary’s St Mary's RC Primary School accompanied Council staff, police officers, local councillors and volunteers for Ship Shape Elm Row, which aimed to tackle the environment at the top of Leith Walk.

Once provided with rubber gloves, anti-graffiti supplies, litter pickers and bin bags, participants got stuck in to sprucing up the area stretching between the Playhouse and Brunswick Road, as well as the streets running from Easter Road to the east of Leith Walk and East London Street to the west.

Volunteers and staff split off into teams to target rubbish, graffiti and fly-posting on bins, lampposts and bus stops.

Organised by the City Centre and Leith Neighbourhood team, the event is part of the Ship Shape initiative, which aims to address issues raised by the local community around the appearance of their streets.

Environment Convener Lesley Hinds said: “It’s great to see the community coming together to help improve their local surroundings and it’s really worthwhile to encourage children to take pride in their neighbourhood.

“While the Council is committed to maintaining a welcoming environment for residents and visitors, it’s important that the people of Edinburgh do their bit to keep our streets clean.”

The freshen-up follows the annual Royal Mile spring clean, which took place in March and saw volunteers pitching in to remove graffiti, clear litter and clean street furniture along the length of the famous street.

Leith Walk is also part of a trade waste pilot, which sees businesses presenting their trade waste during specified time slots, reducing the negative environmental impact of containers left on the street.

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