Climate activist urges residents to support UK-wide initiative

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 September 2020

Melanie Hughes (left) during a climate protest. Photo: ANDRA MACIUCA.

Melanie Hughes (left) during a climate protest. Photo: ANDRA MACIUCA.

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A Saffron Walden climate activist said a national environmental campaign taking place this week is a “brilliant idea” and she hopes more people will step forward to help.

Residents litter-picking in Audley Park. Photo: Supplied by Martyn Everett.Residents litter-picking in Audley Park. Photo: Supplied by Martyn Everett.

Melanie Hughes, Saffron Walden Action on Climate Change member, welcomed environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy’s initiative. It was postponed in March because of the coronavirus lockdown, but is now running until Sunday, September 27.

The campaign aims to get as many people as possible out and about clearing up litter.

Melanie said: “It’s a brilliant thing that people are wanting to tidy up the countryside and keep it green for people and for nature. You are making a positive impact by making a difference but also the health benefits of being out in the countryside and feeling revitalised and being sociable with like-minded people.”

Melanie noticed there are a lot of people who are involved in litter picking.

Litter in Audley Park. Photo: Supplied by Martyn Everett.Litter in Audley Park. Photo: Supplied by Martyn Everett.

She said: “When I have been further afield to an Essex beach I bumped into people who were doing their own litter-picking.”

She added she sometimes picks up litter on her walks, and thinks it’s important to educate some people about the danger litter poses to wildlife.

Melanie said Essex residents can get involved by organising their own town or village groups for the specific areas they live in. But she said it is important to have the right equipment to prevent injuries.

Saffron Walden resident Martyn Everett, who has been litter picking throughout lockdown, said: “These big nation-wide events are good but they must be matched with widespread and regular local action.

Residents litter-picking in Audley Park. Photo: Supplied by Martyn Everett.Residents litter-picking in Audley Park. Photo: Supplied by Martyn Everett.

“Every bit of discarded plastic will degrade and pollute our environment, resulting in wildlife decline. Every discarded can and bottle is a waste of natural resources. For once we are faced with a problem where we can make a difference by our own actions.”

To find out how you can get involved and stay safe at the same time, whether that’s by pledging to pick up some litter in the course of your daily routine or organising a clean-up with up to five friends or family members, visit keepbritaintidy.org/GBSeptemberClean


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