Southampton youngsters have done their bit for the community and the environment by taking part in a national campaign.

The council’s Junior Neighbourhood Wardens (JNWs), who are all aged between seven and 12-years-old, donned high-vis vests, grabbed litter picks and filled giant black bin bags during three organised community clear-ups in Lordswood, Townhill and Northam during the Easter holiday.

In total, 60 children helped to smarten up the Southampton neighbourhoods as part of the Great British Spring Clean.

They filled 180 bags and helped clear more than 2.5 tonnes of rubbish.

Steve Smith, service lead for housing & neighbourhoods, Southampton City Council, said: “It’s incredible to see the Junior Neighbourhood Wardens give up some of their school holiday to make such a valuable contribution to their communities and this national cause.

"They should be commended for their hard work and for going the extra mile to make Southampton a clean and pleasant place for residents and visitors alike.”

The children also got to enjoy an Easter egg hunt and were rewarded for their litter-picking efforts with a chocolate Easter egg courtesy of the St Mary’s branch of Tesco.

The store even sent along four members of their team to lend the JNWs a helping hand.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage as many people as possible to stand together and declare that litter pollution, including single-use plastic, which degrades the environment and harms wildlife, is not acceptable.

The campaign is backed by BAFTA-winning naturalist and television presenter Steve Backshall, best known for hosting the BBC’s Deadly 60.

The Junior Neighbourhood Wardens scheme is a council-run not-for-profit community project working with over 120 children across the city on activities such as gardening, graffiti removal, litter picking, charity fundraising, and befriending and combatting loneliness locally.

The scheme helps the JNWs develop a sense of pride and respect for their neighbourhood and promotes a positive image of children in the community.