Nine-year-old Madison from Exmouth's war on rubbish 'an inspiration to us all'
PUBLISHED: 12:30 13 May 2016
Litterlouts beware; Exmouth has a secret weapon - nine-year-old Madison Chard, who picks up rubbish on her way to school.
Come rain or shine, before lessons start, Madison dons her high-viz vest, takes her trusty grabber and a trolley, and singlehandedly cleans up her route to Marpool Primary School.
When Madison, who walks to and from school with her dad, Stan, heads home from school – you guessed it – she picks up more discarded rubbish. She voluntarily spends weekends recycling her weekday rubbish collections.
The schoolgirl hopes other children and parents in Exmouth will follow her lead and litter pick as they walk to and from school.
So impressed with the youngsters’ efforts, recycling and waste company Sita gave Madison extra recycling boxes in support of her environmental awareness.
Animal-lover Madison, of Dinan Way, Exmouth, said: “Sometimes people smile at me or they say ‘well done’.
“Seeing the rubbish makes me feel angry and sad, because animals can really get hurt. I like picking it up because it just lets me know that animals will be safe.
“I think one day I could have my own business and have lots of people and we can all go out and pick up rubbish.”
Proud mum Becky Chard, 38, said her daughter is ‘passionate’ about protecting the environment and wildlife and praised Madison’s selfless street clean efforts.
“It started when she was walking to school. She would come home and moan about the rubbish she had seen,” said Becky.
“One day, she said to her dad ‘Can I take a carrier bag and pick up all the rubbish?’. Since then, we have bought her a grabber. Now she has got a trolley she pulls along with her; she will still walk in the rain.
“She absolutely loves doing it and loves spending the weekends sorting it out. On Sunday afternoon, we spend about two-and-half-hours, her just sitting and sorting it out. Sita has given her extra recycling boxes.”
A spokeswoman for East Devon District Council said: “Madison is clearly an inspiration to us all in helping to keep our environment clear of litter and by recycling it too. We know that she has a family connection to our contractors and obviously she is keen to help. We hope that others will be encouraged by her public spirited actions.
“We have very dedicated teams who litter pick across the district to help keep East Devon an outstanding place to live and we always welcome those who wish to help us.
“If any individuals or organisations want to assist us in litter picking, we can provide advice and support.”
Follow Madison’s litter-pick progress on Facebook by searching for ‘Maddy C Walk and Clean’.