Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Dick rolls up sleeves to help rid us of rubbish

He is the moustachioed eco-campaigner who made his name on Celebrity Masterchef and Scrapheap Challenge.

Now Dick Strawbridge has lent his support to another green cause — this year’s Belfast Telegraph Big Spring Clean.

We have teamed up with local environmental charity Tidy Northern Ireland to get hundreds of volunteers doing their bit to clear up litter.

Dick is the latest celebrity to pledge his support for the clean-up event, which aims to freshen up communities across Northern Ireland from April 8 to 17.

The retired lieutenant colonel, who was born in Co Antrim, said he would be ready to roll up his sleeves and pitch in to pick up rubbish.

“It really does my head in when people drop litter,” he said.

“If I see people dropping rubbish on the street or out of a car, I pull them up on it — you’ve just got to respect your environment.”

Dick, who has lived in Ballyclare and Antrim, was back in the province for a wildlife conference taking place in Templepatrick.

He has fond memories of trips to the Ulster countryside.

“I was back at Christmas with my daughter and I took her to Steeple Park in Antrim where I used to love walking in the hills,” he said.

“That whole area is very special to me and it would be such a shame to see it ruined by litter.

“People drop plastic bags and fast food boxes and it looks awful for ages and ages.

“If everyone went out and did a little bit of a clean-up, it would make a huge difference to what’s going on.”

The Big Spring Clean aims to recruit a ‘green army’ of volunteers in communities across the province to clean up their areas. More than 120 elected representatives and celebrities, including Environment Minister Edwin Poots and model Katie Larmour, have signed up to the campaign.

Last spring an impressive 2,400 people of all ages showed their support by taking to the streets to clean up dirt and pick up rubbish.

Sign up for an event on the Tidy NI website or set up your own and receive an information pack on how to rid your area of waste.

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