Cottam brothers inspiring the community with their litter picking mission

Posted on - 28th March, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Cottam, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, Wildlife and Conservation
Fred and Ron Walmsley litter picking
Fred and Ron out and about on their litter picking mission

Two brothers from Cottam are inspiring the local community with their dedication to litter picking.


Fred and Ron Walmsley, aged six and four, started litter picking after noticing the huge amount of discarded rubbish on their daily lockdown walks with their mum Rachel Walmsley.

Since then, other residents have been motivated to join the clear up, and Cottam Community Centre has even made litter picking equipment available to help with the initiative.

Mum Rachel said: “On our walks the boys noticed how much litter there was in our local area, particularly around their school. Then one day Fred said that he wanted to pick it all up as it looked horrible.

“I bought some litter pickers and a bag holder and we started to clear up Cottam. The boys loved it and lots of local residents would chat to us and congratulate the boys, which made them burst with pride.

“The boys designed some tabards for themselves out of old PE tops and would chant ‘keep Cottam clean’ on our walks.

“It was mutually beneficial as the area instantly looked better, we were out in the fresh air exercising, and the boys were able to use up their energy.”

Fred and Ron Walmsley litter picking
Fred and Ron wearing their Keep Cottam Clean tabards

After she shared the boys’ efforts on Facebook, Rachel was contacted by Trevor Hart from Cottam Community Association, who made 20 litter pickers and a bin available for community use.

Although Fred and Ron are now back at school, they are continuing to collect rubbish with encouragement from the local community.

Read more: Fulwood resident on a one-woman mission to keep Preston tidy

Rachel said: “When I asked the boys what they wanted to do last weekend, litter picking was top of the list. We cleared some of our local paths and no doubt will continue to do so regularly.

“Lots of people have spurred the boys on – school sent certificates and mentioned it in their newsletter, and Cottam Fairies have designed the boys a special stone each to celebrate their efforts.

“Fred also recently won Cottam Primary School’s Easter egg competition with his Keep Cottam Clean entry, and is very pleased with himself.”

Fred and Ron Walmsley with Fred's winning Easter egg
Fred and Ron with Fred’s winning Easter egg entry

Inspired by her sons, Rachel has set up the Take Pride in Preston Facebook group where other youngsters post pictures to celebrate their litter picking efforts.

She said: “Litter picking gave us a purpose during lockdown and I am very proud of the boys.

“It is quite addictive and unfortunately the problem is ongoing.

“I have read that an effective litter picking campaign can have a real impact on the amount of litter in any area, so we will continue in our efforts.”

Proud Preston. This, and many stories like it, show how the people of Preston are making a difference. Our Proud Preston section showcases all the charitable, kind, uplifting and great things about our city and the people who live here. #ProudPreston is alive and well, and there’s much to celebrate and be proud of, despite the challenging times we all face.

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

What do you think of Fred and Ron’s litter picking? Let us know in the comments.

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