Pam Spychalski absolutely hates litter … so she decided to do something about it.

She and friend Louise Moran formed Huddersfield Litter Bandits and patrol the roads around where they live picking up litter and have filled 50 bags in the last two weeks alone.

They always need more volunteers to join them on their litter picking patch which stretches from Scammonden to Ainley Top and are out and about at least once a week.

They originally formed in 2017 and recently received £500 from Morley Glass and Glazing, a company which donates a lot of money to good causes and is very keen on environmental projects.

It means Huddersfield Litter Bandits will soon have top quality litter grabbers and high visibility jackets with their name printed across the back, making them even easier to spot.

There are other similar litter collecting groups in Huddersfield such as Fixby-based Huddersfield Litter Busters and the two groups sometimes join forces for bigger litter blitzes.

Huddersfield Litter Bandits (from the left) Glennis Lennon, Pam Spychalski, Tracy Foster and Jane Simpson

Pam, of Bolster Moor, said: “I hate litter with a passion – there’s just no reason or excuse for it. I could either sit at home and moan about it or get up, go out and get something done.

“The trouble is, detesting litter has become a curse because I now notice it everywhere I go. I can hardly look at it as it makes me that mad. We were driving along the A64 towards the east coast recently and the litter was everywhere.”

On a good day the bandits can have as many as 12 volunteers and have lined up a week of litter picking starting on Saturday, March 25, to coincide with the Great British Spring Clean organised by Keep Britain Tidy.

The areas it will be covering are Ainley Top, Lindley Moor Road, Scammonden, Longwood, the part of Lindley Moor near Outlane Cricket Club and Copley Bank in Golcar.

Pam said: “I saw a teenager throw his fish and chip paper on the floor and challenged him about it but he refused point blank to pick it up as he claimed it gave someone else a job to do.

“It’s that attitude that’s so wrong. Another time I was taking a friend of my son’s home when he was a child and he unwrapped a sweet in the car, rolled the window down and threw it out. When I told him he should never do that he said his dad did it all the time.

“It’s just so easy to put litter in a bin or take it home.”

Louise Moran and Pam Spychalski. Pictures by: ANDY HIRST

Some of the worst spots are at Ainley Top near the roundabout and up on the moorland near Outlane Cricket Club.

“I think youngsters just congregate there and leave a load of rubbish behind,” said Pam. “We see an awful lot of Carling lager cans.

“Something else we see a lot of, often in the more isolated spots, are the remnants of cannabis farms and also nitrous oxide cannisters that people have been inhaling.”

More unusual items include surf boards dumped near Scammonden Dam, crutches, a couple of old toilets and shrink-wrapped cabbage and broccoli that looked like it had just been bought from a supermarket. The bandits have even found full bottles of beer.

If they find large dumped items such as tyres, fridges or builders’ rubble they alert Kirklees Council.

Sometimes they even get lucky with Pam finding a £20 note closely followed by a £10 note on the same day in a spot where drug dealing is suspected.

“I hope it belonged to a drug dealer,” she said. “If it did then those proceeds of crime went straight back into the fight against litter.”

Cigarette butts are a bane of the bandits’ lives as they are so difficult to pick up yet will take years to degrade if just left by the roadside.

Huddersfield Litter Bandits in action at Ainley Top

Huddersfield Litter Bandits are broadening their horizons beyond litter as they will soon be cleaning dirty street signs too to help people find their way.

And they’re sharing how people who simply bin their litter – or other people’s – and take photos of it can win cash prizes.

All they have to do is download an app called LitterLotto and each time they bin litter take a photo of themselves doing it.

Every photo goes into a prize draw with one winner picked out each week who wins £1,000. There are also bonus prizes of £5 given out at random to those who have submitted photos.

Pam, who has won a fiver from LitterLotto ( in the past, said: “It’s just so easy to do and is a great incentive for everyone to throw their litter away … and anyone else’s rubbish they find near a bin.

“It would be great if schools could get this message out to all their pupils as most will have smartphones so could join in.”

To join Huddersfield Litter Bandits on Facebook go to

  • Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.