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I was privileged to be involved at the beginning of a new community drive to tidy up their local area. The main motivator on the scene in Armadale was a very inspiring local lad by the name of Finlay.

He was compelled to start the group from his experiences litter picking with other groups in the area, most notably the West Lothian Litter pickers (WLLP). Some members from the WLLP were in attendance on Saturday to offer their support for an activity that can be difficult, dirty, seemingly endless but also rewarding. The common belief among the group of likeminded volunteers was that they were being proactive in dealing with litter, their primary focus is to change people’s habits. Evidence suggest areas where historic litter has been dealt with has a reduced amount of new littering. The group was full of energy, which helped in scrambling up and down the steep banks along the Milhouse burn. We made a significant impact on the wide array of rubbish that was left in the area. From blinds and kitchen units to all the typical litter items; cans, crisp packets, bottles and take away wrappers. By the end we had collected over fifty bags of rubbish and other larger items. West Lothian council were very helpful in disposing some of the more awkward items.

It was a thoroughly rewarding couple of hours, we definitely earned our pies and cakes which we all enjoyed with a cuppa curtesy of the Milhouse garden centre and nursery. Finlay and the whole gang had a good chat about the future of the area and of the wider issues facing Scotland’s environment. I believe giving support to people like Finlay and his friends insures a bright future with worthy custodians.