Stepping out on 7,000-mile tidy

Wayne Dixon  and his dog Koda with family, volunteers and supporters
Wayne Dixon and his dog Koda with family, volunteers and supporters
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7,000 mile litter-picking tour of Britain began on the Fylde coast for one man and his dog.

Starting and ending at Knott End Library, 44-year-old Wayne Dixon set off on Monday on a journey which will take him around the coast of Scotland and England – picking up litter as he goes.

Wayne Dixon with his dog Koda

Wayne Dixon with his dog Koda

He starts his journey as Blackpool Council and Keep Britain Tidy have pledged to make Blackpool the cleanest seaside resort in the UK by 2020.

Richard McIlwain, operations director of Keep Britain Tidy, yesterday told The Gazette: “It would be great if every everyone felt pride in ensuring Blackpool is a clean town.

“We hope in five years time, Blackpool is celebrating being a fantastically-clean holiday destination.”

It currently costs Blackpool Council alone around £3m to tidy up discarded waste every year a figure the council needs to reduce in the wake of £25m budget cuts this year.

We hope in five years time, Blackpool is celebrating being a fantastically-clean holiday destination

A consultation on how everyone in the town can get involved in the scheme will begin in February.

Wayne, from Clitheroe and a regular visitor to the Fylde coast, will be raising money for mental health charity MIND and the Northern Inuit Dog Rescue Society as he makes his litter-picking journey.

Along with his four-year-old Northern Inuit dog Koda, Wayne will camp under the stars to save money on the trip, which he estimates will take him around two years to complete.

Wayne said: “I’ll be visiting some beautiful places ruined by litter and I want to make things better.”

The extreme walk is also being made in memory of Wayne’s dad John, a keen walker who passed away three years ago.

Wayne said: “My dad and I used to do lots of walking together and I’ve loved walking ever since.

“I’m not trying to break any records, I’m just going to take my time and do maybe 10 miles a day.”

Wayne is taking time out from his job as a children’s support worker to fulfil his “life-long ambition” to walk the British Isles.

He said:”I’ve got a few friends I can stay with but most nights we’ll just be camping. The litter-picking is just a way to clean up our coastline.

“When I’m walking I always see litter and I want to do something about it.”

Wayne is also supporting the Keep Britain Tidy and Clean for the Queen campaigns and anyone wanting to donate can email him at dixonwayne874@gmail.com.

He started his journey at 10.30am on Monday morning at Knott End Library on Lancaster Road.