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Bird Aware rangers litter picking

On the 22nd of May we teamed up with a Keep Britain Tidy ambassador, Wayne Dixon, and ‘The Final Straw Solent’ to litter pick a beach in Eastney, Portsmouth.

Wayne, with his dog, Koda, have an amazing story to tell – they are walking the entire coastline of Britain, bagging other peoples’ rubbish as they go.

Wayne has dedicated the past three years of his life to clearing up litter after setting off from his home in Lancashire. Since reaching Hampshire he has linked up with The Final Straw Solent to do some targeted litter collections. Lissie Pollard and a friend set up The Final Straw as result of plastic pollution that is sadly so common on our beaches and open spaces. They organise litter picks across the Solent and have a dedicated following of like-minded people. Scheduled events can be found on their website, and Facebook page.

Wayne and Koda’s journey started back in February 2016 and they have now walked over 3700 miles, passing through countless beaches, villages and towns. Wayne is full of ideas about how to combat the scourge of litter, he explains, ‘Litter isn’t just an eyesore, it’s a genuine threat to animals, birds and marine life. I have seen small mammals trapped in disposable coffee cups and witnessed porpoises and birds along beaches, some entangled in rope and fishing line.’

However, there is hope. Wayne tells us, ‘When I started out on my journey I would walk through big cities and regularly collect 10 or 15 bags of litter. In the past six months I’ve seen a dramatic change, I recently walked through a city and only collected half a bag’.

Between Lissie and Wayne, they have collected countless cotton buds, fast food packaging and bottle tops, but every now and again something pops up that makes them wonder ‘how did that get there?’. Wayne once found a cash till in a field and last week Lissie picked up the set of dentures on the Weston Shore beach near Southampton. Our litter pick yielded 55kg’s of rubbish, a remarkable amount given the size of the area that was covered.

We wish Wayne, Koda and The Final Straw Solent well with their travels and exploits. All our birds, mammals and other living creatures are being given a bit more of a chance to survive and thrive thanks to their incredible efforts.