A MOUNTAIN of rubbish was collected as part of a new cleaning initiative led by two West Oxfordshire firms.

Four teams made up of staff from Witney-based MyStore Self Storage and Charlbury-based House and Carriage took to the streets of Charlbury to spruce up the whole area.

Far from a standard community litter pick, the group returned with a skip-full of rubbish including a tyre and the front bumper of a car.

Targetting entrances to the town on Witney Road, Burford Road and Enstone Road, the group also uncovered a discarded bed frame.

The litter pick looks to be the first of many for the two companies, which have pledged to go out again ahead of spring.

House and Carriage director, Charlie Schmidt, said that he hoped the work of the group would inspire the wider community.

He said: “In our normal line of work we go out of our way to be helpful and get great satisfaction out of what we do.

“Giving something back to our community in this way is really just an extension of our ethos and by taking pride in everything we do, hopefully we can set an example for the wider community.

“We were all completely amazed at how much rubbish we collected in such a short space of time.

"But the result was immediate and every one of us could see the benefit.”

Mr Schmidt said that more litter picks were on the horizon for the firms, adding: “We are planning more rubbish pick-up days before spring kicks in and it will definitely be an annual event for us.

“Unless people stop littering that is.'

House and Carriage is a removals and storage company based in Charlbury, founded in 2005 by lifelong friends Tom Skelton and Mr Schmidt.

Its sister company MyStore Self Storage includes 360 rooms across four floors for family and business storage.

It was opened by former former Witney MP, Prime Minister David Cameron in September 2016.

Teams from the two businesses, including the two directors, took to the streets of Charlbury armed with pick-up sticks, high-vis clothing and biodegradable rubbish bags last Thursday.

They spent a total of six hours collecting litter in the town and returned with more than 120 rubbish bags filled with cans, bottles, plastics and even a car bumper.

The group was left astounded by the amount of rubbish they managed to collect from a 10-mile stretch of road.

A number of residents and some of the companies’ clients thanked the team as they went past.

It’s something the two firms are keen to do again.

Mr Schmidt said: “After seeing how easy it was to organise and discovering the sense of satisfaction you get from doing it, it’s something we would definitely do more of – and get other people involved.

“If we can get other companies and individuals involved we could end up making it a pretty organised event.”

For more information about the two businesses go online and visit houseandcarriage.com and mystoreselfstorage.co.uk.