HUGE mounds of rubbish left scattered all over Clackmannanshire's beauty spots by litter louts have been cleared up by good samaritans in recent weeks.

In the days since lockdown measures were first eased on May 28, there have been images circulating with alarming regularity on social media of popular outdoor spaces covered in refuse.

Piles of rubbish, including bottles, cans and even inflatables, have been left strewn over these outdoor spaces at a time when everyone is keen to enjoy them after weeks of being cooped up indoors.

For some people, enough was enough, and they decided to take matters into their own hands.

One of those people was Nicole Pinkerton, 27, who, after seeing a video on Facebook of the mess left near Powmill, thought to herself: "We need to take action into our own hands."

Speaking about that video, uploaded by her friend, she said: "The blue water near Powmill [was] surrounded by hundreds of plastic bottles and litter left behind by people enjoying the sunny weather.

"There was a sea of bottles; the water itself choked with litter with no space for wildlife."

So, Nicole – who grew up in Tullibody and now lives in Stirling – asked some of her friends if they would join her on a socially distanced litter pick in the area.

Thankfully, some of them did, and when they arrived they found that four others had had the same idea and were also there to tidy up.

Nicole said: "Over two days, with my eight-month-old in sling, my friend Michelle Sadler and her baby and other friend Fiona Harrison have filled [a] one ton bag with plastic waste, and over 20 black bags of litter, shoes and plastic bottles and inflatables.

"We've only made a small dent into the amount of rubbish that has been left."

Despite that gloomy assessment, Nicole is adamant her work is not finished.

She said: "We will be doing more, and have spoken to the owners of the land about recycling all of the plastic we have separated.

"In times like these during a pandemic and a climate crisis we need to be on the ball and protect our environment."

Another local who decided to take matters into his own hands was Sauchie's Arron Uytendhal.

Advertiser readers will recognise him as the plaid-clad lad who has been trekking around the town clearing up trash from the local streets.

Or he may be remembered for being the man who "married" his wife in a spur of the moment unofficial wedding ceremony in his front garden – certificate pending.

In any case, Arron, 37, has been out with his family to a local beauty spot in recent days, litter picker in-hand, to help clear up some trash.

He said: "[My family and I] saw a post on Facebook that showed the Black Devon in a sorry state.

"The falls are a place I still have great memories of from my youth.

"My nearly-wife got us out the door early and we headed up with bags galore.

"There was a huge amount of litter caught in the logs.

"Dirty foam was building up and the water was so cloudy you couldn't see the bottom."

Thankfully, Arron and his family made a big dent in that debris.

He said: "At the end of the day, we filled three bags with recyclable products, one bag of general waste and a large plastic fence which was recovered when we cleared all the blocked logs.

"The increase in water flow has already started to clear the water.

And he added: "I'm sure I'll be back to finish the job and once it's all clean and safe."