Peter holding up a hard hat he has removed from the water Peter picks all sorts of rubbish out of the water, from hard hats to football boots

Meet Peter

I find litter picking an incredibly therapeutic thing to do. Being out amongst nature, seeing the plants and wildlife.

I started off doing it once a week. Now I do it every other day. I haven’t found that the global pandemic has made much difference, because I always wore gloves anyway, so I haven’t really had to change what I do. Social distancing hasn’t been an issue for me either. I say hello to people I see, just the same as I always did, and carry on about my way.

The main difference for me is the type of litter I find. Now, the litter is more disposable gloves and face masks, which is such a shame. I don’t understand why people can’t just take them home and dispose of them there. I recycle as much of the litter as I can at home, mostly glass, plastic and drinks cans.

Swans near a quay with plastic litter floating around them The Ellesmere Port swans inspired Peter to start litter picking

I did my first litter pick with my neighbour. We discovered that the canal by the National Waterways Museum, behind where we live, had washed lots of litter into the basin and it was building up there. We noticed two swans nestling in a mound of litter. I felt awful for them and made a personal promise to do a litter pick at least once a week to keep the area plastic free.

I pick up litter almost every other day, but I visit the swans every morning, come rain or shine, to give them a vegetarian breakfast. They paddle over to meet me when they see me approaching with my orange carrier bag!