An East Lothian man has been named “Hero of the Month” by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in recognition of his beach cleaning efforts.
Andy Bradshaw has spent hundreds of hours – in all weather conditions – collecting rubbish and waste from Gosford Bay, near Longniddry.
Now retired, he visits the bay twice weekly, using only public transport, and on one occasion filled more than 50 refuse sacks.
Andy’s efforts have been supported by East Lothian’s Countryside Rangers, who keep him supplied with materials to carry out the clean-ups, before collecting and disposing of the rubbish and waste.
Part of the national Clean Up Scotland campaign organised Keep Scotland Beautiful, he was nominated for his award by Duncan Priddle, a countryside officer with East Lothian Council .
“I used to regularly enjoy walks around the East Lothian coast but became increasingly aware of the amount of litter I saw,” said Andy, who lives in Tranent.
“While the initial clean of the beach was quite a daunting and challenging task, I’ve shown that with persistence even the worst of beaches can be restored to how nature intended.”
He added: “While collecting rubbish is not the most exciting of jobs, I get a sense of ownership of my patch and it feels really rewarding to walk along a nice, clean beach at the end of a hard day of litter picking, until the tide comes in.”
Presenting the award, Juliette Camburn, Community Projects Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “The transformation in Gosford Bay with Andy’s efforts is a fantastic achievement and one he should be very proud of .
“The volume of litter he has collected has made a massive difference to the quality of the East Lothian coast and is something which will be enjoyed and appreciated by all the visitors to the bay. Keep Scotland Beautiful recognises that there are many volunteers across Scotland who are working very hard to clean up and green up their local area.
“I would encourage everyone to consider nominating their local Clean Up Scotland Hero so that they too can be recognised for their hard work.”
The award is supported by Helping Hand Environmental, which provides each Hero with a clean-up kit, including a new Scottish litter picker and hoop.
In its bid to make Scotland the cleanest country in Europe, the national campaign encourages everyone to get involved, by visiting www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/cleanupscotland