Litter picker, 8, shows 'small acts by small people make a difference'
- Credit: Amy Bacon
An eight-year-old has proved that "small acts by small people can make a difference" by walking 130 miles around her village to pick up litter.
After watching David Attenborough wildlife programmes about the state of the planet, Alexa Bacon felt helpless to stop what her mother Amy said "felt like a big rolling machine".
Yet refusing to be beaten, Alexa - of Gosfield, near Halstead - and her cousin in Oxfordshire came up with the idea of doing socially-distanced litter-picks to keep their neighbourhoods clean, as well as raise money for Rewilding Britain.
Joined by her sisters Milly, aged five, and Leonara, two, Alexa thought she would raise just a few hundred pounds at most.
But she has been inspired by the difference she has been able to make in her own backyard, raising over £2,600 after walking more than 130 miles in all weathers to clear up rubbish.
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Mrs Bacon said: "They are delighted and very pleased
"It has been tough going for them and they have been staggered by what they have picked up."
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Much of the litter they collected was plastic wrapping. However, there were also a worrying number of dog waste bags discarded on rural footpaths.
"This has been a good learning experience for them," said Mrs Bacon.
"They are proud of what they have done. It has shown them that, even though they're only young, they can take control of a situation and make a difference to something they believe.
"They might only be small steps, but they can make a big difference over a long period of time.
"The big message was that they felt so devastated when they watched the David Attenborough documentaries, it felt like such an enormous machine of destruction which they couldn't stop.
"However, small acts by small people can make a difference.
"If everyone made one small change, then we could all make our world a better place.
"Collectively, we can make a difference. It's not hopeless."
Alexa and her relatives are not the only young people taking action on litter in their communities.
Four-year-old Amber Miss was so horrified by the volume of rubbish left strewn across Sudbury Water Meadows that she got to work clearing up discarded barbecues, beer bottles and face masks.
She had already done the same at Friars Meadow the day before.
Litter has built up over the past week, as the weather improved and lockdown restriction were eased - allowing groups of up to six, or members of two households, to gather outside.