A DAY-long initiative to clean up Taunton's waterways was so successful last year that organisers are running it for a whole week next month.

Businesses, schools, residents and community groups will be joining Somerset Wildlife Trust's Big Taunton Litter Pick.

They will tackle the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal and the River Tone from Monday to Sunday, September 23 to 29.

Olivia Dullaghan, SWT's community engagement officer, said: "We're thrilled about the response to last year’s event.

"Litter picks are a wonderful way to encourage communities to come together. We are pleased that such a great number from the public, businesses and community groups responded to our call.

"Studies show that 80 per cent of litter found in our oceans comes from inland waste, passed through rivers and canals around the world and out to sea.

"We have a massive responsibility to protect our urban wildlife, green spaces and water-courses, which starts with us being mindful about how we dispose of our litter.

"Our hope is that increasing the event to a week will encourage even more participation. Bigger numbers mean that more litter will be picked up and recycled.

"Most importantly, we hope that participation will help people to see the scale of the problem and inspire a change of attitude toward litter."

There are several ways to get involved in this year’s Big Taunton Litter Pick. You can litter pick on any day that suits you during the week, you could join a litter pick near you or you could hold a mini street clean in your area.

Anyone interested in taking part, should e-mail Olivia.dullaghan@somersetwildlife.org to find out more.

The week is being supported by Taunton-based waste management company Viridor.

Ed Mitchell, director of environment and sustainability for Viridor’s parent company, Pennon, said: "We're so pleased that our partner SWT has made the Big Taunton Litter Pick an annual event.

"It's quite disheartening to see the kinds of litter that end up on our pavements and in our waterways.

"If placed in the right bin, items like single-use plastic can be reprocessed and given new life, instead of entering the watercourse, potentially ending up in our oceans and putting wildlife at risk.

"We hope to encourage even more people, businesses and schools to join Viridor and SWT in the Big Taunton Litter Pick, to make Taunton a healthy place and a valuable habitat for the community and wildlife. This is our opportunity to make a difference."