An inspirational Moray primary school pupil has taken her anti-litter message to the heart of Scottish Government.
Eight-year-old Bronagh Dallas, a pupil at New Elgin Primary School, was selected by the environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful to help them launch a national anti-litter initiative in Edinburgh.
Bronagh’s crusade to keep the streets Elgin clean came to the fore in July last year when she set up a litter-picking group in her local community. By that time she had already spent five months clearing up litter on a daily basis – an effort that prompted Keep Scotland Beautiful to give her an award acknowledging her efforts.
It was the safety of wildlife that first prompted Bronagh to become involved in clearing up litter. That followed a visit to her school by the Scottish SPCA that spoke of a hedgehog that had almost died after becoming trapped in a discarded plastic bag.
At the time Bronagh’s mum Moira said: “Nobody suggested this – it was entirely her own idea to set up the group just as it was to start collecting rubbish in the first place.”
Last week Bronagh travelled to Edinburgh where she helped launch the “2-minute clean up” initiative at a reception in the Scottish Parliament.
At the launch Bronagh said: “About 18 months ago a lady from the Scottis SPCA came to our school and gave a talk on the dangerous effects litter can have on wildlife.
“She told us a story about a little hedgehog that almost died after being caught in a plastic bag that someone had thrown away. After I got home that day I just couldn’t stop thinking about that poor wee hedgehog. I decided there and then I wanted to do something positive.
“Every day on my walk to school I put on my rubber gloves and grab a big bag. Most days my bag is full by the time I get there. I have been disgusted by the amount of glass bottles, cans, plastic bags, cardboard and even used nappies.
“Picking up litter has become second nature to me now and I would love it if other people could make a small difference too. My dream is to set up a litter-picking club for children. As I said to my mum: ‘no hedgehog is going to suffer while I am around!’.”
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “People like Bronagh Dallas are an inspiration to us all, highlighting that everyone can take responsibility for litter.”
The #2minutecleanup scheme is part of the Clean Up Scotland campaign, which since its launch in 2012 has produced over half a million clean up actions that has collected over 5000tonnes of rubbish from Scottish streets.