‘I’ve found knives, human poo and a London bus, cleaning West London streets 40 weekends of this year’

A woman who has given up dozens of her weekends to pick up litter has explained the strange things that she has found during her inspirational voluntary work.

Among the bizarre items she has come across are knives, human defecation and even a London bus- admittedly it was a children’s toy.

Lorraine Leckenby, of West London, has volunteered for 40 weekends of this year and used them to pick up litter along London’s canal paths – She carried on through scorching summers to days when she had to think of the “frostbite” risk.

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Lorraine told her followers: “It was the 40th Saturday morning I have given up litter pick on the towpath. Well, when I thought I had seen it all, this week topped everything. Just Peter and I in 3 degrees and rain we tackled some awesome s**t.

“All these weeks I’ve complained about the lack of toilet facilities and as if magic there we are. One was supplied!! Happy days. 4 hours of hard work and we cleared around 40 bags plus big stuff.

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“Buckets, so many white buckets, shoes, kids school stuff, clothes, suitcases, a sewing machine (I felt at home with this), household rubbish and even a London bus albeit a toy one but who cares?”

Lorraine commonly goes litter picking along the Grand Union Canal, mainly in West London. Among her extraordinary work she has helped clean a part of the canal near Alperton that used to be “rotten and infested with rats”.

Whatever the weather Lorraine goes out to help litter pick and recently she was worried that her hands might get “frostbite”..

She hopes that her voluntary work will encourage some action from local authorities and also the public to reduce littering. Suggestions she has made are CCTV cameras to catch littering in action.

In one litter picking session Lorraine can collect up to 40 bags of rubbish

In one litter picking session Lorraine can collect up to 40 bags of rubbish

Lorraine said: “From 30 degrees to 3, I thought my fingers were getting frostbite. My phone didn’t like the cold either. It kept going wavy when I videoed but you need to see what we were faced with. Who? Why? How is this acceptable? When will it all end? I despair.

“But in the meantime, it keeps us strangely entertained as we discover more and more bizarre stuff.”

Lorraine has campaigned for better refuse collection and action from various councils to keep the paths clear.

Successes that she has seen include contractors being sent to clear sections of the canal paths in Alperton, bin bag dispensers being put in place by Thanet council and various bins being erected along the Grand Union Canal.

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