‘Love your Forest’, the Forest of Dean’s behaviour-change focussed anti-littering campaign, has secured additional investment this week after its impact on the environment is revealed.
The campaign was launched in April 2016 by local employer Lucozade Ribena Suntory and environmental charity Hubbub. Supported by the Forest of Dean District Council, the Forestry Commission, Foresters’ Forest, and Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism it sought to raise awareness of littering and encourage positive behaviour-change within the local community.
Now, in its third year, the results of ‘Love Your Forest’ have been published in a new report. The ‘Love Your Forest Impact Report’, which was launched in the House of Commons last month, shares insight and learnings that could be adopted by other areas seeking to change behaviour in a fun and collaborative way.
Over the three-year period, ‘Love Your Forest’ has used clever ways to raise awareness and deter litteringin the Forest of Dean. Highlights include:
• The ‘Trashconverter’ invited people to swap their trash for treats. It has so far visited 64 locations, engaged with over 5,323 people and collected over 186 bags of litter and recycling across the Forest of Dean.
• ‘Communitrees’, wacky faces designed by school children using litter from the forest floor, were placed throughout the forest and, in some high footfall areas, saw a reduction in littering by as much as 30%.
• The ‘roadside gallery’ involved a series of outdoor posters installed on A and B roads with members of the local community holding up messages of pride for our area with anti-littering slogans. Combined with a car sticker competition, roadside littering levels dropped from 6 bagsperkm to 2.7 bags per km.
With a view to broadening the campaign’s reach and ensuring its long-term success, Lucozade Ribena Suntory has committed to funding ‘Love Your Forest’ for another year beyond the initially planned three-year period.
With this support, Hubbub will work with local groups to deliver the elements of the campaign which have proven most effective; including a continued tour of the Trashconverter, engaging with more schools and creating targeted online campaigns.
There are also plans to build greater capacity within the Forest of Dean to ensure local groups can takeon elements of the project and ensure they can continue to engage with residents and visitors in thefuture.
Michelle Norman, Directorof Sustainability and External Affairs at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, said: “We are delighted by the continuing success of Love Your Forest. We want to ensure a sustainable andlasting legacy is delivered in our Forest, which is why we are funding the campaign for an additional year and will be working with partners to ensure it will run long beyond 2019.
“We hope that the report will provide other companies, councils and organisations with the inspiration and insights needed to introduce their own impactful campaigns in the future.”
Trewin Restorick, CEO of Hubbub, said: “We are thrilled to be launching the Love Your Forest impact report, showcasing what has been achieved to-date to tackle the blight of littering in the Forest of Dean.Thanks to additional funding from Lucozade Ribena Suntory, we are now totaking on the most successful elements of the project by working with local groups. Anyone wishing to set-up their own anti-littering campaign is encouraged to get in touch to find out what we’ve learnt.”
Rt Hon Mark Harper, MP for Forest of Dean said: “The Forest of Dean is an incredibly special place and we all have a responsibility to keep it free of litter and other waste. The Love Your Forest campaign is a great initiative and I am really pleased it has secured the extra support it deserves from one of the Forest of Dean’s excellent employers.”