Arbroath’s Lily Souter might still be at primary school, but she’s a force of nature when it comes to the environment.
For the past couple of years, Lily has been cleaning up her community in an award-winning crusade against those who spoil the scenery
And what started out as a two-month litter-picking pledge for the young dynamo shows no sign of slowing down.
Lily has just collected her latest accolade by bagging a second Little Sunshine award from the Morrison’s supermarket chain.
She previously convinced the company to buy new community litter bins for local litter hotspots.
Lily created a special #Save Our Seas logo for stickers to go on the bins.
Along with her other efforts, which raised thousands of pounds for a local conservation charity, the litter campaign brought the youngster to the attention of Keep Scotland Beautiful bosses.
With hi-viz vest, litter grabber and bag always at the ready when she steps out the door, Lily is now leading a growing army of young pals in the clean-up effort.
Lily’s crusade began with inspiration from the faraway shores of the Galapagos Islands.
Watching broadcaster and naturalist Monty Halls’ programme, My Family and the Galapagos, she saw litter picks being done on the tropical beaches and suggested she and mum, Lyne, should do the same.
Lily said: “I watched the programme on litter and didn’t like what it was doing to the environment.
“I decided I would pledge to do eight weeks of litter picking and that got me started.
“And I’ve been doing it ever since.”
“I don’t know why people drop so much litter and spoil nice places. It’s a disgrace.
“People go to beautiful places and they leave their litter there and it isn’t beautiful any more.”
The historic setting of St Vigeans near her Arbroath home is one of Lily’s favourite places.
She has raised thousands of pounds for the St Vigeans Conservation Network.
She added: “When we go down there to pick up the litter some of my friends come along.
“We go in the water and they really like doing it too. But we picked up lots of stuff and it wasn’t very nice, there was chicken coop wire and everything,” Lily said.
Lily recently picked up a second Morrison’s Little Sunshine award for her community work after shoppers voted overwhelmingly for her to win the recognition.
And the schoolgirl plans to plough her voucher prize straight back into improving the area.
Mum Lyne said Lily had lobbied BT to repair a vandalised telephone box at Barn Green.
Lyne said: “Lily made a little video about the Barn Green area which she would like to make a difference to.
“The area’s all been upgraded but the phone box still looked terrible so she sent the video off to local councillor Lois Speed asking for help to make it happen and they sent someone out to do repairs.
“Lily mentioned that she would like to design a huge poster sticker for the back of the phone box with a picture of Arbroath Abbey to make it look nicer so hopefully she’ll get permission to do that.
“She wants to put her Little Sunshine voucher to that, and will fundraise for the rest.”
Lyne added: “Since this all started Lily has just stuck at it and she is always keen to do it.
“She has lots of other activities, but loves her litter-picking and the fact that some of her friends are now doing it.
“We’re very proud of her.”
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