Trash Free Trails: Annual Impact Report and Community Hubs Initiative

Trash Free Trails

The Annual Impact Report

Community is The Solution to Our Environmental Problems

It is a tale often told by environmental groups and organisations; community action is the heart of the solution. But few quantify this statement with empirical evidence. Without a clear figure of what impact communities are having, how do we know if engaging them actually works?

That’s where Trash Free Trails have hit the nail on the head. Their mission to ‘reconnect people with nature through the simple yet meaningful act of removing single-use pollution from wild places’ might appear gentle, but behind it is a dedicated and relentlessly positive international team of (mostly) volunteers realising their vision for 2030. ‘We exist to protect our trails and wild places and where they take us to’ they say; it’s clear from their latest Annual Impact Report that they are doing just that.

The Report bridges every aspect of the organisation’s work. From developing innovative education programmes for young people to providing individuals with fun, inspiring and informative tools to host their own trail cleans, it’s safe to say Trash Free Trails are bringing out the very best in anti-littering advocacy.

But what stands out in this Report is the high engagement of individuals and communities to contribute to the State of Our Trails Report – a first of its kind project informing the first academically powered study into the make up of terrestrial single-use pollution.

The State of Our Trails Report is powered by what Trash Free Trails call ‘Citizen Science’. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can wear this title. Simply collect some trash while out and about, report it on the Trash Free Trails website and there you have it; you’re your local area’s very own citizen scientist.

With nearly 100,000 individual items of single-use pollution removed in 2022 alone, Trash Free Trails are directly contributing to the wellbeing of trails and wild places the world over. Better yet is the nearly 3,000 volunteer hours contributed by over 2,000 people.

This is where Trash Free Trails are turning the tide on what ‘community action’ can be. Instead of encouraging everyone to reach beyond their capacity, their mission is powered by the pocketful of trash you pick up on your daily dog walk, while hitting the trails with mates on the weekend, on your weekend stroll through the city. As soon as you pick up a piece of trash, you’re part of the community. So says Rachel Coleman, TFT’s Comms Manager:

‘We’re incredibly proud of everything we achieved in 2022, but most especially the amount of people who took up our call to protect their local trails, parks and wild places. It’s these small, individual acts that show that community can be so much more than where we live or who’s directly around us. When you remove that piece of trash, you become part of our global community. Look what we’ve already achieved – look what more we can do together.’

To read the Report and get involved for 2023, head to for more information.

Trash Free Trails: Annual Impact Report and Community Hubs Initiative

Trash Free Trails

Calling UK Bike Shops To Arms

Environmental not-for-profit Trash Free Trails are calling out to UK Bike Stores and Cycling Centres to join hands with their mission and become ‘TFT Community Hubs’

The problem with litter is so overwhelming because it is entirely pervasive. No matter how far away from human civilization you try to go, litter will always find you.

Even with the push from motivated campaign groups and legislation change like the Single-Use Bottle Deposit Return Scheme coming into force in Scotland later this year, it is going to take a mass effort to truly reduce the amount of terrestrial pollution to be found in parks, trails, and wild places. And it’s safe to say that making that happen on a national scale is a tough gig.

And yet the team at Trash Free Trails seem entirely unphased by this challenge. As an international community of runners, riders and roamers on a mission to reconnect people with nature through the simple, yet meaningful act of reducing single-use pollution, TFT tackle terrestrial pollution with an upbeat, optimistic and welcoming attitude. And better yet – their latest programme, ‘TFT Community Hubs’, is opening a long guarded gate between individual action and community activism.

TFT Community Hubs are, at their simplest, a local business, organisation, or space who have been inspired by Trash Free Trails’ mission and want to bring it to their own community. It is a free programme for local shop owners, cafes, outdoor centres and community spaces who want to be advocates for TFT’s work. Each Community Hub will be provided with a material pack to organise their own trail cleans, support and advice from the team at Trash Free Trails, and on the ground support from some of their local ambassadors.

So why encourage bike shops to get involved? Turns out mountain bikers are the outdoor’s most notorious litterers – but with Trash Free Trails they’re transforming their reputation toward becoming the most environmentally engaged outdoor community there is. Trash Free Trails believe bike shops, cycling centres and bike parks, as cornerstones of local cycling communities, are the key to getting more bikers invested in their mission. Rachel Coleman, their Comms Manager says:

“For many riders, bike shops aren’t just a place to get repairs. They’re places to meet, socialise, get inspired and make new mates. By becoming TFT Community Hubs, these places simply add to what they offer their customers, providing them with new ways to connect with and take care of the places they ride.”

With over 100 TFT Community Hubs already discoverable across the UK, it’s clear that local communities are not only concerned about litter in their area – they’re ready to do something about it too.

It might take a mass national effort to reduce our terrestrial pollution then, but it’s good to know that bikers, everywhere, are on it.

To become a TFT Community Hub, simply email your store name and location to with the subject ‘Make Me A TFT Community Hub’. Perhaps you’re not a store owner but have one in your local area? Send this article to them to get involved.


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