MEMBERS of a litter-picking group in St Andrews have been hailed as community heroes for helping to keep the area tidy.

The parish council gave out its first Community Hero Award to recognise one group's outstanding contribution to this part of North Swindon.

Councillors presented the honour to representatives of The Ridge Wombles at Redhouse Community Centre. The volunteers dedicate their time to ensuring The Ridge is kept litter-free.

With helpers as young as two and as old as 70-plus, as well as students from the parish's schools who include the activity as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Tim Clarke and Sally Rowles proudly accepted the award on behalf of the group and said: “This is not just our award, this is for everyone who has turned up to help across the four years that we have been involved.

"It has certainly been and will continue to be a really worthwhile journey to ensure the beauty of The Ridge is preserved.

"We have seen challenges this year with regards to adapting the way that we work because of the pandemic, but this has not deterred our army of helpers, and we have made sure that they are kept safe at all times.

"We want to thank St Andrews Parish Council for their support by providing equipment and by removing the waste that we collect via their grounds maintenance team, as well as the local Coop for storing our litter safely until it can be collected.”

Coun Vera Tomlinson said on behalf of the parish council: “We wanted to find a way to recognise those individuals within our parish who demonstrate excellent community spirit.

"When Coun Jean Blake told me of the fantastic work being done by this group, I knew that it was only fitting that they became the first recipients of our inaugural award.

"The parish council will be making this an annual event to recognise those working in the community. "

For more information about The Ridge Wombles, or to get involved, call the parish clerk on 07900 631733 or email