SPRING cleaning will be taken to another level as volunteers tackle a massive tidy-up operation across the whole of Oxford.

More than 1,000 helpers are expected to litter pick at this year’s OxClean Spring Clean, which takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The event is organised annually by Oxford Civic Society, during which dozens of groups give up their time to work in different areas of the city, picking up unsightly and environmentally-damaging litter.

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Last year they cleared more than six tonnes of litter and other rubbish from Oxford's streets.

This year, so many have signed up for the big Spring Clean that organisers have allocated all their equipment for Friday and Saturday, but there is still space for people to join on Sunday by registering online.

OxClean aims to keep Oxford clean and tidy all year round, to ensure that the city is a welcoming and pleasant place for people to live in, work in and visit.

The group is working in partnership with Oxford City Council, the Oxford Mail's sister title the Oxford Times, local community groups and schools in its efforts to keep the city clean.

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It said that although it has achieved ‘a great deal’, there is still much work to be done while litter continues to accumulate after being dropped and blown around.

Organiser Natasha Robinson said: “This year is our biggest ever with 100 groups registered. We are getting more people taking part year on year and more than 1,000 individuals are helping out this weekend.”

Anyone can tidy up including children, as long as they are supervised by an adult and register online.

She added: “Quite a lot of young people are keen to go down to the canal and it's quite nice seeing kids go out with adults - they really do enjoy it.

"We are very keen to get schools involved and we’ve got some Oxford colleges signed up and Oxford Brookes too."

Although the group only holds its annual Spring Clean in Oxford, it would like to branch out and hold events in neighbouring towns, but does not yet have the resources to do this.

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Ms Robinson said: “We are all volunteers and we are keen for everybody to participate if they want to.

“It’s just having enough equipment and people to organise it. We would love for all towns to do their own Spring Clean – that would be great."

The team will recycle as much collected rubbish as possible.

OxClean is also urging local businesses to sign up to its Spotless programme, which encourages stores to keep the area around them clear of litter.

Ms Robinson added: “Most of the waste we collect is packaging for food or drink and cigarette packets and people throwing their litter as they come out of food stores, so we are very keen for the shops involved to take more responsibility."

OxClean will provide equipment for local groups who want to litter pick later on in the spring.

To sign up for Sunday's Spring Clean, visit oxclean.org.uk/spring-clean.