Mentalist David Meade joins Big Spring Clean to help park litter disappear
TV mentalist David Meade faced his toughest challenge yet as our Big Spring Clean campaign kicked off – tackling Northern Ireland's litter problem at the height of the cold snap.
The BBC star rolled up his sleeves and performed a vanishing trick on the litter at Solitude Park in Banbridge with the help of his four-year-old daughter, Tilly.
"I'm a bit lazy when it comes to the environment, but once you have kids you notice litter a lot more," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"We try to go to a park every weekend if we can, or sometimes go up to Portrush for a week, and you really notice how much rubbish there is lying about the place.
"But any time I'm in Solitude Park I see lots of people picking up rubbish and litter of their own accord. I think it's great to see the community taking ownership of it."
The pair tackled glass and plastic bottles that had been discarded by passers-by, as well as plastic bags that had blown in and become caught on the shrubs along the river.
"If we were all to pick up one piece of litter, it would really make a big difference," David said.
"I remember how as a kid you wouldn't have thought anything about dropping rubbish and it's so socially unacceptable now.
"I think most people now would never consider dropping rubbish."
And he says the Belfast Telegraph, Tidy Northern Ireland and DoE Rethink Waste, who have teamed up to persuade thousands of people to clean up their area as part of the Big Spring Clean, are fighting a winning battle.
"There's much less litter around now than there ever was before," David adds.
Ian Humphreys, director of Tidy NI, who took part in the clean-up along with staff from Banbridge Council, said the park is well kept, but a few items of litter detract from its pristine state.
"To see the likes of Frank Mitchell out picking up litter in south Belfast and David out in Banbridge is exactly what the Big Spring Clean is about, people doing what they do around where they live.
"This is for everybody – it doesn't matter if you are a celebrity or not a celebrity – everybody is getting involved, all walks of life, because most of us do care about where we live."
Register an event or join an existing event online at www.bigspringcleanni.org, and order your free clean-up kit. Your council will help by supplying additional kit and will collect the rubbish gathered. The website has your council's contact details to co-ordinate this. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you are not on the internet, contact Tidy Northern Ireland directly on 028 9073 6920.