Part litter-picking and part jogging, “plogging” is the latest environmental trend to sweep the streets of Wandsworth.

Pioneers of the movement, “Plogolution”, have been hosting monthly events in Wandsworth, bringing together residents, children and councillors, to litter pick and stay fit at the same time.

Last Sunday’s event (August 2), was held in partnership with Friends of Wandsworth Common, to raise awareness of the influx of litter during the pandemic.

Catering for various fitness levels, volunteers took part in a 5K “plog” or 2K “walking litter pick” around the common.

In one day 111 bags of recycling and 30 of rubbish were collected, including 372 bits of glass, 257 plastic and 596 cans.

Founders Michelle Parks and Dermot Kavanagh realised the need for Plogolution two years ago, on a run along the River Thames.

Shocked by the massive amounts of litter, they decided to take matters into their own hands, collecting rubbish as they jogged.

Later, they discovered the Swedish plogging movement - which loosely translates as “plocka upp” (pick up) and joggning (jogging).

Since then, the pair have hosted over 60 community plogs around London, with monthly events in Wandsworth and Hounslow.

One of their biggest events was the “Ultra Plog”, a six-day stint that spanned the entire length of the Thames (184 miles) from Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier.

Co-founder, Michelle Parks, encourages people to give plogging a go, saying:

“What’s great about Ploguliton is you can get fit while also looking after your local community at the same time. By making such a difference, hopefully it will stop people from littering in the first place.”

Pre-lockdown, Mrs Parks was enlisting the help of children from 34 schools, which held weekly plogging clubs. She hopes this will kick off again when schools go back.

“It’s so import to educate kids in schools and get the younger generation to look after our planet, so we have something nicer to pass down,” she adds.

In September, Plogolution are hosting a 24-hour plog, starting at Putney Bridge and covering as much ground as possible in one day.

You can find out about the event, or others, here.