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Fife litter picking champion receives our Clean Up Scotland Hero Award

27 May 2021

We're delighted to have awarded our Clean Up Scotland Hero Award to Fife resident, David Spence for his hard work and commitment to cleaning up local spaces in Fife.

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 the group’s efforts in clearing up the litter left by others. This group is now a network of more than 2,400 members, and in 2020 they collected and removed over 10,000 bags of litter – a staggering amount. In 2021 David expects to see this number doubled.

David 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 Spence commented: “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 when they had little else to take up their time.

“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 all over Fife and really tackle some of the problem areas that continue to annoy us.”

Heather McLaughlin, one of our Campaigns Officers, said: “David is a true inspiration. Through his hard work and dedication he has enabled many thousands of bags of litter to be removed from Fife. We are grateful for his tireless efforts.

“Lockdown has made us really appreciate our local outdoor spaces, and it is important that we keep them clean and tidy. This year, across the whole of the UK, we are encouraging people to help us achieve one million miles of litter picking.  People can pledge their support on our website and to keep Scotland beautiful.”

David is a keen supporter of our Summer Clean and has so far pledged to spend 1,000 minutes picking litter during the four-week period of the Summer Clean.

If you have been inspired by David and want to get involved and help clean up your local area, why not pledge some of your time to the Summer Clean. More information can be found at

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