A POPULAR fishing spot blighted by rubbish is being cleaned up by the community.

A group of around 30 people have been getting together at Firs Park in Leigh for the last four weeks and fishing out trolleys, bikes and other litter from the lake and doing maintenance on its surrounding areas to make it safe for visitors.

Former Westleigh High School pupil Justin Hulme, who has been fishing for 18 years, got the project off the ground after growing tired of the state of the park and realising it is a way for young people to get involved.

People from the age of five to those in their thirties have been going to the park.

Dad-of-one Justin, 33, said: "The park has been in a bad state for a while so I thought I would do something about it.

"When I was in my teens I got myself into trouble on a few occasions but a guy called Sean Nolan started a project at Firs Park and a group of us worked together and really took a shine to it.

"I have now decided to do the same to help younger people too and Sean is also helping with that.

"It is giving them something different to do and they are really enjoying meeting up.

"We are cleaning the lake out, fixing fences and everyone is looking forward to each time we meet up.

"I have been calling the days 'work parties' and let people know on Facebook when they are happening.

"Parents have been praising me and saying how their kids are talking about working at the park which is great to hear."

Justin says he is in discussions with the council and Leigh Angling Club to take greater control of the story.

He is also looking to add more fish in the pond as the stock has decreased in recent years.

Justin, who is currently doing a plumbing course, added: "In the future, it would be great to get more young people involved and even teach them how to fish.

"When I am fishing I think it is like meditation- it takes me to a different place and hopefully I can get other people involved as well."