Clean Up Scotland hero award for Fife’s champion litter picker

A Fife litter picking champion has received a hero award.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 12:14 pm

David Spence, from Fife Street Champions, was recognised by Keep Scotland Beautiful for his commitment to cleaning up his local area

The environmental charity rewarded him with theirs Clean Up Scotland hero award.

Heather McLaughlin, campaigns Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “David is a true inspiration.

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David Spence

“Through his hard work and dedication he has enabled many thousands of bags of litter to be removed from Fife.

“Lockdown has made us really appreciate our local outdoor spaces, and it is important that we keep them clean and tidy.”

David was first bitten by the litter picking bug in 2018 and since then has made it a regular part of his life.

He can now be found cleaning up his local area at least twice a week and dedicates many hours of his time to removing litter from Fife streets.

David joined the “Fife Street Champions” Facebook group, set up by Hilary Harman, in 2018 and has since become one of the main motivators behind its efforts in clearing up the litter left by others.

The group is now a network of more than 2,400 members, and in 2020 they collected and removed over 10,000 bags of litter. This year, David expects to see this number doubled.

He is keen to expand the network to all ages, abilities and interests, and is delighted that there is now a “Junior Fife Street Champions” group where young people are getting involved in cleaning up their local neighbourhoods.

David said: “Our effort and results are often overlooked because you can never tell where a litter picker has been working - only where they haven’t been.

“Covid has had a disastrous effect on the mental health of many people but, it has been stated by more than one member that litter picking has given them something positive to do and that it has made them feel useful.

“Now that we are hopefully heading towards a freer society again, we hope to increase the number of group events where we can get together, and really tackle some of the problem areas that continue to annoy us.”

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