What makes me tick?

I am an environmentalist. Discovering my passion for the environment has led my life in a different direction to where I was heading, but I am so grateful for the wake up call.

It was about 8 years ago that I went on holiday with my family to Majorca and went snorkelling with my sons. We put our snorkel masks on and put our heads in the water – and all I could see was plastic rubbish. Nappies, bottles, wipes, straws, plastic cutlery, etc etc. When I got back I decided to do something and started to clear up as much rubbish as I could from the environment – on my own to start with, and then I started the Sidmouth Plastic Warriors to try to both clear up but also put pressure on to get change.

Before pandemic we were seeing large numbers turn out for our clear ups – regularly 80-100 people, including our MP and the odd celebrity – (Jason Donovan for example!)

During the pandemic we just all did our own thing on our walks and were able to clear out hedgerows along the busy roads that hadn’t been touched for years. Many people borrowed the litter pickers and it has become an established habit in lots of our Warriors’ lives.

Fast forward to now and we are still doing cleans – yesterday, as I write this – around the area, and still pushing for change. The Extended Producer Responsibily Scheme should see some major changes (it has taken way too long to get to it but hopefully this should start this year). Then the Deposit Return Scheme, again taking too long, should be operational by 2025! This will all need some major integrating into how EDDC collect and handle our waste but I am up for the challenge to help sort it all out.

During the last 4 years, as chair of the Sidmouth Town Council Environment Committee, I helped to set up a great group called the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group. This inspirational collection of amateur and qualified environmentalists has worked tirelessly and are really making a difference to our area. There are so many fantastic people in the town and surrounds who bring a wealth of knowledge that makes our town punch above its weight.