Local man clears nature reserve of more than 150 bags of rubbish

Date published: 13 March 2018

Since August, a local man has cleared a nature reserve of over 150 bags of waste.

After moving to Shopwood Way, Littleborough, Andrew Coates was shocked by amount of litter in the neighbouring area, especially Shopwood Way nature reserve.

He said: “After contacting the council, I was advised they would address the issue, but it wouldn’t be a priority and would take between two and three years. Feeling this was not good enough, I asked the council if they would have any objection to me cleaning the area on the condition they provided bags and collected the rubbish.”

From August, Mr Coates then set himself a task of clearing one bag a week when walking his dog.

He continued: “At first I was shifting five to ten bags in 20-30 minutes, now little and often. To date I have picked and cleaned the whole of the nature reserve over 150 bags.

“My aim is to inspire others: this shows what one person can achieve by just giving up 20-30 minutes of their time every weekend.

"Plastic waste is a major issue at the moment and an ongoing campaign should be a priority, not only for councils but also the media to reinforce.”

Mr Coates’ next mission is to clean around the local school, then onto the canals. He says the council have collected the litter as promised and even removed all the fallen trees in the nature reserve.

“I only ask for more volunteers to do their bit, if you see litter pick it up. It is not the council's duty to clean the area; it is everyone’s social and moral duty. We live in such a beautiful area: let’s all care for it,” he added.

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