A 'STAGGERING' amount of rubbish was found in Blackbird Leys as part of an annual spring clean as campaigners urged the area to go back to basics.

Communities across the city were spruced up as part of OxClean over the weekend.

A group of nine from Oxford Friends of the Earth were tasked with clearing up around Sandy Lane West and Blackbird Leys Road.

The team picked up 27 sacks of litters, including more than 300 plastic bottles.

About a tonne of rubbish was collected from the Eastern By-pass Road near Horspath Driftway and another tonne in Grenoble Road by other groups and Headington was also cleaned by residents there.

Friends of the Earth Co-ordinator, Fiona Tavner, said: "We were given the Blackbird Leys area and we found a staggering amount of rubbish in just a couple of hours.

"The large majority of it was recyclable, such as cans, bottles and plastic bottles.

"It's 2018 and we are still talking about dropping litter, let alone recycling and reducing single use plastics.

"There are some fundamentals that we have to go back to."

She urged people to hold on to their cans, bottles, crisp packets and chocolate wrappers until they got home or to school to work.

In its 11th year OxClean once again saw volunteers giving up their time and they were joined by other conscientious residents.

She added: "OxClean is a brilliant event to get people cleaning up the city and to give the city council's street teams a bit of help.

"We also had people from the local area coming up to us and thanking us and then helping out."

She added that the other message was that we needed to reduce our single use plastics and said a city-wide campaign for businesses to allow people to refill their water bottle was having an impact.

The event was rearranged after snow and cold weather swept hit the county last weekend.

But the volunteers enjoyed warmer climes this time around.

City councillor for Blackbird Leys, Linda Smith, said: "Thank you so much you amazing people.

"I hope everyone will try even harder to keep Blackbird Leys litter free for the coming year.

Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds also mucked in to clean up the area and thanked residents for caring for their city.

She said: "It was good to see so many people out across Oxford for the reorganised OxClean - and to get rid of the some grot spots."