ANTI-LITTER crusader Alistair Hendry has urged others to adopt a self-help mentality to cleaning up Moray.
Alistair (68), from Mosstodloch, has been on mobile patrol throughout the village in 2013.
And his efforts are beginning to pay off in keeping the community relatively litter-free.
They say the early bird catches the worm, and in Alistair’s case the early riser bags the litter.
He heads out of the house at 5am every day in his mobility scooter, armed with litter-picker and black bags.
“I am out seven mornings a week and I am usually out for about 90 minutes,” he said. “The only time I don’t go out is if the weather is really bad.
“It was really windy the other day and as I have a hood on my scooter I was worried it would blow over.”
Not only does Alistair pick up the litter, he recycles all the bottles and plastic containers he finds.
Exasperated at the amount of litter strewn on the road approaches to Mosstodloch, Alistair took it upon himself to do something about it earlier this year.
His wife, Grace, helped him initially in his efforts and in recent months he has single-handedly continued his campaign.
“In the initial clean-up we collected about 25 black bags over a couple of weeks. I now collect about one full bag a week,” said Alistair.
“The main problem seems to be people chucking litter out of their cars.”
A cyst on his spinal cord has left Alistair with nerve damage in his left leg, and for 16 years he was bent double and on morphine and other strong painkillers.
However, an operation in 2009 has given him some relief, and although he still has difficulty walking, he uses his mobility scooter to get around the village.
A former arable specialist, Alistair returned to live in the village in 1981. He is a volunteer and on the steering group of Community Food Moray, which is based in the village, and helps distribute vital food packs to individuals and families in need. The charity now also helps run Moray Foodbank, which delivers emergency food aid to people struggling to make ends meet.
Alistair likes volunteering in the local community, and his litter-picking is a desire to give something back.
Donnie McLean, from Moray Council, has supported his efforts by siting a number of new bins throughout the village, and the council provided Alistair with his litter-picker and a regular supply of black bags.
Having visited Scandinavia, which Alistair described as almost litter-free, he would like to see more people in Moray adopt a similar attitude to keeping their community clear of unsightly litter.
“It shows community spirit and makes places more attractive,” he said.
“There has got to be more of a self-help mentality, especially with more council cuts to come.”