Litter Picking duo Arrive At Borgue, Dumfries and Galloway

 After walking nearly 500 miles, one man and his dog on a UK-wide litter pick mission were welcomed to Dumfries and Galloway as part of a beach clean-up at Carrick Bay near Borgue.

Former social worker Wayne Dixon (44) and his faithful Northern Inuit companion Koda, set off on a 7000 mile journey of the UK coast back in February, collecting unsightly litter and binning it as they go.

It’s thought the journey will take around a year to complete, with Wayne camping and bringing only a rucksack of supplies along the way. As well as picking up litter, Wayne is also hoping to take part in several community clean-ups in the towns, cities and beaches they visit.

Last week the pair were given an official welcome to Scotland and invited to visit Gatehouse Primary School to reflect on

the journey so far and how important it is to properly dispose of litter.

Inspired to make a difference to the coast, Wayne said:

“Scotland is a beautiful country and I’ve been saddened to see litter on road sides and in some of the incredible beaches I’ve already visited.

“I’ve always felt very annoyed by litter, there’s so many beautiful places around the coast and I can’t understand why people don’t take pride and try to keep the place they live clean. One day I became so angry about the litter I saw whilst out walking that I started picking it up. After this my anger turned into empowerment and I knew then I had a real purpose for this 7000 mile journey.


“Walking the coast of the UK was something I had a dream about 30 years ago and it finally feels like this is the right time. When I was younger I used to go on a lot of walks with my father and we had planned to do this trip together one day, but sadly he passed away before we had the chance. Now I’m making the journey with Koda, who my dad adopted just before he died.”


Following the talk, Wayne, Koda and the Eco School’s committee took part in a litter pick at Carrick Bay organised by several organisations including Zero Waste Scotland, Marine Conservation Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Dumfries and Galloway Council. A group of volunteers from the National Scenic Area group also came along to help with the pick.


Wayne added:


“Litter is also very harmful to wildlife which is something I’m keen to draw attention to. It’s sad that animals are getting hurt to due humans being irresponsible with their rubbish and during the next year I hope to better educate people on this issue.


“Some of the beaches around Dumfries and Galloway are absolutely breath-taking and it was really great to see the local school children taking an interest and determined to tackle the litter. I’d like to say thanks to all those who helped out and I hope they feel proud to have made a difference.”


Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:


“We were delighted to help Wayne and Koda and believe a lot of people will be inspired by their journey. For us, prevention is always better than cure and we’re working with local authorities and partner organisations to encourage people to be more mindful about how they dispose of their waste.


“By raising awareness we hope to change negative behaviour and tackle littering in communities. This in turn will help boost the recycling of re-useable materials.”


Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said:


“We are delighted to support this exceptional effort by Wayne and Koda which compliments the inspirational Clean Up activities of the thousands of volunteers across Scotland that we support.


“Our recent report shows that local environmental quality in Scotland is in decline so there has never been a better time to register and take part in a clean-up and make a difference to the place you care about.”


Catherine Gemmell, Marine Conservation Society, said:


It was brilliant to have Wayne and Koda join our Beachwatch organiser Anna, to conduct a beach clean and litter survey where together with volunteers and local school pupils we found 645 items of litter including some earphones, a paddle and a small toy crocodile!”


Councillor Colin Smyth, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said:


“It is great to hear about this type of positive initiative which raises the profile of the issue and gives out a message that rubbish is never acceptable. We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, with a stunning coastline and we must work hard to keep it this way.


“I welcome Wayne and Koda to Dumfries and Galloway and to Scotland, thank them for their help, and wish them well on their travels.”


Keep up to date with Wayne and Koda on social media: @WayneKoda on Twitter and www.facebook.com/wayne.dixon on Facebook.

Latest Articles