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Tom Newton, aged 11, from Edinburgh was presented with our Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’ award, recognising his motivation and commitment to keeping the Union Canal clear of litter and helping to improve the local area for residents and visitors alike.
Tom first started volunteering for Scottish Canals in 2018 and since then he has been regularly out by the canal picking up litter that has collected on the walkways – stopping discarded rubbish from entering the water.
The volunteering, which is part of Tom’s Junior Award Scheme for Schools, has helped to encourage Tom and his family to consider their environmental behaviours in other parts of their lives also – from reducing their own use of plastics to considering how their actions impact on the planet.
Tom Newton commented:
“I really feel like I am making a difference picking up litter from the canal and I hope that every piece of litter that I pick up is one step closer to helping and protecting local wildlife.
I hope that more people will consider what happens when litter gets into the water and help us to protect animals like swans, moorhens and otters that could mistake litter for food.”
Heather McLaughlin, Campaign Officer, commented:
“Tom is a great example of how even just a small bit of enthusiasm can go a very long way. Tom has managed to make a significant difference to the environment around the Union Canal – removing rubbish on a regular basis. His efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Every month Keep Scotland Beautiful recognises the hard work of volunteers across Scotland who clean up and green up their local area. I would encourage everyone to consider nominating their local Clean Up Scotland Hero, so that their achievements can also be celebrated.”