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World Cup fans urged to keep Norfolk tidy

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 01 July 2010

Tara Greaves

Football fans in Norfolk are being urged to clean up after themselves if they celebrate the World Cup as a new opinion poll named England as the most littered country taking part in the competition.

Football fans in Norfolk are being urged to clean up after themselves if they celebrate the World Cup as a new opinion poll named England as the most littered country taking part in the competition.

More than half of the people asked for the Keep Britain Tidy survey named England as the most littered of all those in the cup, followed by Brazil, South America, Mexico and the USA.

Samantha Harding, the Campaign to Protect Rural England's (CPRE) Stop the Drop campaign manager, said: “People may not think we are the dirtiest team in the World Cup but we should be ashamed that so many think our country is a dump. Littering costs tax payers a ludicrous £780m every year to clean up. We need a proactive public information campaign to help tackle our litter problem once and for all.”

Of those asked 53pc said England was top for litter, 11pc said Brazil, 7pc said South Africa, 4pc said Mexico and 3pc said USA.

James Frost, director of CPRE Norfolk, said: “The Olympics 2012 and perhaps the World Cup in 2018 would focus the world's attention on England and will attract many visitors. Norfolk would be set to benefit, with people visiting the county from far and wide. But in what state would they find it?

“Many people forget that our European neighbours do not have the problem of litter that we have here, as they have much stronger education about the subject, sensible incentives schemes such as bottle deposits, and stronger penalties for those who persist. These are the kind of things CPRE are fighting for, but the government aren't listening yet.

“Over the summer, boys and girls across Norfolk will be practicing their football skills in the streets, parks and beaches of the county, trying to emulate their heroes. Much more needs to be done to ensure these places are kept clean and safe, as they are in other countries. And we all need to play our part, with our children, in taking pride in our local areas, and doing our bit to clean them up.

“As one of England's most rural counties, Norfolk should take its pride of place on the podium for beauty and tranquillity. If we want to keep it that way, we all need to do our bit to keep it clean.”

Stop the Drop, which is backed by best selling author Bill Bryson, who lives in Norfolk, was launched in 2008 and has so far inspired the formation of 322 litter picking groups across England, who have collectively cleared 40,143 bags of rubbish.

Further information about the campaign can be found at www.cpre.org.uk and www.litteraction.org.uk.

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