Pride and broom: wedding man aids litter fight
It seems unlikely subject matter for a TV wedding planner and agony uncle — but litter really gets Anthony Miller hot under the collar.
One half of wedding planners Ant and Dick, the Antrim-born TV star says that while a well-groomed appearance can do wonders for your confidence, a pristine environment is just as important.
This week he teamed up with the Belfast Telegraph and Tidy Northern Ireland to support our Big Spring Clean campaign, aimed at mustering a green army to clean up litter hotspots across Northern Ireland.
Ant said the most glaring example of how litter can mar a place is Greystone in Antrim, where he grew up.
“There’s a path we called the Black Path in Greystone. It’s a housing estate now and there are always shopping trolleys and flytipping,” he added. “It’s right beside where I went to school as a child and it’s sad to see the area coming to a demise.
“It used to be a meadow with a big hill and it was quite nice when I was a kid. Now it’s a field between one part and the other and it’s always awful.
“What annoys me the most is how that has got to affect people’s morale. It’s a sign of how they feel. Confidence comes from lots of things but mainly your environment. If your environment is poor, surely it’s got to reflect on the rest of your life?
“We keep ourselves clean and well presented and that is good for confidence — it’s the same with the environment.”
But Ant believes the public’s greater awareness of recycling these days is one of the ways that Northern Ireland’s litter problem is coming under control.
“I think the whole coloured bin thing is becoming a regular part of life,” he said.
“My nieces and nephews won’t put anything in the bin unless they know which colour it’s for. But I don’t think everybody takes it seriously or realises the implications it can have, not just on our health but on our psychology and well being.
“Once an area becomes run down, it becomes branded and can be on a downhill track.”
The Belfast Telegraph is calling on as many people as possible to roll up their sleeves and get involved in giving Northern Ireland a spring clean for the summer, tackling the litter that blights our towns and countryside.
To get involved in the Big Spring Clean from April 8 to 17, visit |the Tidy NI website at www.|tidynorthernireland.org/big-spring-clean for information on where events are happening and how to organise an event.