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Cleaning up the Isle of Wight's countryside with Patricia, CPRE Isle of Wight volunteer

CPRE volunteer Patricia Almond tells us why she’s helping keep the Isle of Wight litter-free.

I’ve always loved the countryside. My ideal day out is walking my chocolate labrador, Hedley, and finishing up with a cup of tea and fresh crab sandwich at my beach hut overlooking the Solent. And that’s why I’ve felt inspired to help keep it free from litter, first on my own and then with CPRE.

Two women shake hands as one is handed a framed certificate
Patricia (right) receiving an outstanding contribution award from CPRE’s Chair Su Sayer

I used to go out around my own village picking up litter. But it wasn’t until I left a comment on my local CPRE website that I found a group of like-minded people who wanted to do the same. I decided to volunteer with CPRE as a litter pick co-ordinator, and now I’ve been doing it for nearly 10 years!

Motivating and mentoring

My role includes helping local groups who have the motivation to clean up hotspots but need the kit to do it. We’ve built up kit bags to lend out and have awards to present.

Over the years I’ve presented certificates to community groups and given assemblies for young people in local schools, as well as Scouts and Guides groups. We also sponsor young people who are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards.

Litter – and lighthouses!

I find volunteering with CPRE rewarding because I like to see the island looking tidy, and keeping our local countryside clean helps with the local economy. I’d encourage other people to volunteer because it’s everyone’s job to look after our surroundings. I’m glad that some rambling groups are now picking up litter when they walk.

As well as volunteering with CPRE, I’m a volunteer guide at the lighthouse a couple of days a week and help out with an international exchange group. And I have to find time to keep up with the gardening!

Plastic bottle washed up at sea
Our oceans are full of littered plastic. CPRE says: enough. Brian Yurasits / Unsplash


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