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Operation Spruce Up


Find out about our campaign to 'clean up' and 'green up' front streets in local communities.

What is Operation Spruce Up?

Launched in 2016, the scheme involves one town or village, from each of the 14 Area Action Partnerships (AAPs), receiving a 'clean up' and 'green up' to make environmental improvements and foster civic pride.

Since the scheme started, over 4,000 children and young people have got involved helping with planting, collecting litter, installing bird and bat boxes and designing posters to help promote responsible dog ownership and litter prevention

What activities are involved?

Some areas will differ according to need, but in general, activities will include:

  • cleansing of road channels, gullies and weeding  
  • de-greasing of pavements and chewing gum removal
  • removal of graffiti
  • painting of street lighting columns and railings (where needed)
  • replacing of shrub beds
  • litter clearance
  • manual sweeping of areas where machinery cannot reach
  • repair and/or painting of street furniture (seating/benches) and bollards
  • pruning trees which impact upon the road, verges or pavements for safety
  • responsible business waste management education
  • environmental education - school assemblies and poster competitions to explain to children and young people the importance of environmental pride

Who is taking part?

What areas are part of Operation Spruce Up?

So far, the following areas have benefited from a 'spruce up':

  • Spennymoor (November 2016)
  • Fencehouses (December 2016)
  • Framwellgate Moor (January 2017)
  • Crook (February 2017)
  • South Moor (March 2017)
  • Bowburn  (April 2017)
  • Evenwood (May 2017)
  • Wingate (June 2017)
  • Leadgate (July 2017)
  • Stanhope (August 2017)
  • Ferryhill  (September 2017)
  • Langley Moor (October 2017)
  • Newton Aycliffe (November 2017)
  • Coundon (January 2018)
  • Blackhall (March 2018)
  • Pelton (March 2018)
  • Tow Law (April 2018)
  • Gilesgate (May 2018)
  • Shildon (June 2018)
  • Annfield Plain (July 2018)
  • Deaf Hill/Trimdon Grange (August 2018)
  • Barnard Castle (September 2018)
  • Consett (October 2018)
  • Middlestone Moor (November 2018)
  • West Cornforth (January 2019) 
  • Chilton, mini spruce up (January 2019)
  • Ushaw Moor (February 2019)
  • Newton Aycliffe (March 2019)
  • Wolsingham (April 2019)

New schemes

The following town has been confirmed:

  • Shotton Colliery (June 2019)

What if my town or village is not chosen?

One settlement, per AAP area, will be selected to provide an equal spread across the county. Certain front streets in villages or towns will be chosen due to the current condition, prospects for improvements and opportunities to work with partners on existing schemes to join services together. 

    Get involved

    Contact us to find out how you or your organisation can take part.

    Awards/achievements

    'Spruce Up' has been recognised at the 2018 Keep Britain Tidy Network Awards - winning Campaign of the Year. The programme is also shortlisted as a finalist for the 2018 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Environmental Services Award

    Report environmental crime

    See our Street care and cleaning page to report a range of environmental crimes, including litter, dog fouling, flytipping and graffiti or contact us.

    Further information

    Please see our Civic Pride team page for more information about environmental pride.

    Contact us
    Civic Pride
    03000 26 0000
    Our address is:
    • Durham County Council
    • Chilton Industrial Estate
    • Chilton
    • County Durham
    • United Kingdom
    • DL17 0SD
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