Neighbours donned gloves and litter-pickers for the first in a series of big clean-ups of their community.

Councillors, volunteers and residents joined forces for the Big Pollards Hill Clean Up in the park behind the New Horizon Centre on Friday, June 27.

Mervin Eubanks, a Team Merton volunteer, said: "We are trying to get the residents involved in a clean-up of their area because at the end of the day it's their community, they have to live here and it's a very nice area.

"There are some residents but there should be a lot more. We are going to explain to them what's happening."

Strimming, weeding and rubbish-collecting were just the start of a long-term vision to beautify the park.

Naomi Martin, Commonside Trust director at the New Horizon Centre, said: "People want to roll their sleeves up and help, that's great, but we also want people who are not very able to say what they would like to see and which flowers would grow well here."

Newly-elected Councillor Joan Henry, who joined volunteers, said: "I used to be a special constable for 15 years and this is one of the areas I policed.

"What we do is try and work with young people, and I think myself coming to something shows that we care."

The next two big clean-ups will take place on Wednesday, July 23, and Friday, August 22.

Juliet Adeluwoye, of Carisbrooke Road, said: " I think it's important to get involved because if you are local whatever you do counts."

Ninety organisations use the New Horizon Centre, which merged with the Commonside Trust in 2007 with the aim of giving all residents the opportunity to make the community better.