Published Friday 12 February 2016 at 9:31
A BLACKBURN man is making a clean break from the norm after setting off on a 7,000-mile trek to tidy up the British coastline.
Wayne Dixon, 44, is being accompanied by his beloved dog Koda as he plans to walk the entire coast of England, Scotland and Wales in nine months, collecting sweet wrappers, cans, bottles and other items discarded by thoughtless litterbugs along the way.
Wayne warmed up for his epic adventure by organising a clean-up walk around Witton and Mill Hill. The four-mile circular stroll saw him and his group of volunteers collect 60 bags of rubbish.
The colossal coastal adventure, which is a lifelong ambition of Wayne’s, sees him combine his passion for litter collection with another great favourite past-time of his – walking.
And it’s also in memory of his late father, who passed away in 2012. John Dixon was well known for his series of books detailing historical walks around East Lancashire.
Wayne said: “I thought it would really frustrate me if I were to come across a lot of litter on my walk, so I came up with the idea of litter picking along the way.
“I’m using this personal adventure to do my part in cleaning up the country and promoting Keep Britain Tidy with the hope of empowering others not to drop litter and to add litter picking in their daily routine and lead by example.”
Wayne is taking time out from his day job as a children’s support worker to complete the mammoth mission, and is raising money for mental health charity MIND and the Northern Inuit Dog Rescue Society.
He added: “Hopefully along the way I can encourage people to take part in litter picks and make a difference. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for some time and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
Wayne set off from Knott End near Fleetwood on February 1 and headed north, collecting seven full bin bags of litter in his first three days on the road.
He has also been inspired by Keep Britain Tidy and the Clean For The Queen campaign, which has been set up to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday in June by getting the nation spic and span.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, leader of the Council, said: “I think what Wayne is doing is great. I wish him well in his journey.”
To follow Wayne’s progress, or to donate to his charity effort, visit www.facebook.com/wayne.dixon.7543.
+ Wayne will take a break from his coastal route and return to the region to attend the John Dixon Memorial Walk, which takes place around Barley and Newchurch on Sunday, May 15. The event is open to all and care shares will be available from Blackburn. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01254 581175.