ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner Erica Rose has become a popular figure helping to rid hedges and verges in Helmsley of rubbish.

Erica, a leading member of the Kirkbymoorside Environmental Group, is currently concentrating on the Riccall Drive and Riccall Dale area of the town.

“My main focus is recycling,” said Erica, who cycles around the area armed with disused farm feed sacks and litter-picking “scissors”.

One of the biggest problems, said Erica, is the number of plastic bottles. “In the Third World countries they would treat them as treasures,” she said.

Her biggest complaint is the amount of rubbish thrown from cars – pizza cartons in particular.

“People seem to wait until they are in the open countryside – I’ve even found pizza boxes in Bransdale, 23 miles from a takeaway.

“If you can see rubbish when driving a car it’s only a 10th of what is really discarded.

“People seem as if they want to keep their cars clean at the expense of the countryside. It is commonplace to find carrier bags filled with rubbish and then thrown into the hedgerow.”

She had hoped to find or have made a small trailer to fit behind her cycle when she’s on her clean-up missions but has so far had no success.

“But I’m determined to help keep the country lanes around Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside free of unsightly litter,” said Erica.