Litter-picking hero Harry cleans up 

A Cub Scout from 1st Winnersh Scout Group has drawn inspiration from the recent UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, to make a difference to the environment by collecting rubbish in and around his local community. What started out as a lockdown project has since turned into an impressive challenge that has caught the attention of the media.

Eight-year-old Harry Peska was encouraged to start collecting rubbish by his Section Leader as part of his community badge. Now, his aspirations are set much higher, as he targets collecting a tonne of rubbish. In Harry’s own words: “To put the challenge into context, you need to get 500 two litre bottles of fizzy drink (full), to make up a metric tonne.”

Harry started this challenge when he was a Beaver but his journey along the Scouting ladder has not stopped him one bit. During his litter picks he has so far found a wide variety of items, such as car bumpers, a chair and even a pair of Hugo Boss trousers! It is amazing to see that Berkshire’s Scouting community cares about the enviroment so much, but what was it that really inspired young Harry on his litter picking project?

When asked by ITV Meridian News, Harry responded: “In assembly, I had learnt about COP26 and I thought, why are people so bad for the enviroment, so I thought I want to make a difference”.

And what a difference he has made. So far Harry has collected 350kg of rubbish, consisting mostly of plastics, cans, and bottles. By setting himself this new challenge, he has joined many other budding environmentalists in achieving his Blue Peter Green Badge, which is dedicated to those who are Climate Heroes.

Harry’s Dad, Nick, who is also a member of the Scouting family, told ITV: “Harry has always been a child that likes to do things to the extreme. He’s done an 100-mile bike ride, he’s done art exhibitions for charity, so it doesn’t surprise me and I’m there to help him do that.”

Not only is Harry knowledgeable about the climate issues we face as a global community, but he is also knowledgeable on the importance of safety when collecting rubbish, wearing gloves, a high-vis jacket and his trusty litter picker.

Harry unearths more rubbish for collection

Harry has been sharing his newfound passion with his Scouting friends as well. Recently, Harry has been leading litter picks for Winnersh Beaver Colonies, educating them on the safety aspects but also having fun and spreading the joy he has for protecting his local community. Harry isn’t slowing down on his pursuit either with other local groups registering their interest in having Harry come along to their units to lead their evenings as well.

If you are wondering where you can find out more about Harry’s Climate Challenge, then we have just the answer for you. Harry has set up a Facebook Blog titled “Harry’s 1 Metric Tonne of Rubbish Challenge” and here you can find update videos from Harry himself about how he is getting on and he even shows some of the items that he has found!

Written by Harry McBain



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