Litter picking duo arrive in Scotland on awareness mission

After walking nearly 500 miles, a man and his dog on a UK wide litter pick mission have been welcomed to Scotland as part of a beach clean-up in Dumfries and Galloway.

9 May 16

Former social worker Wayne Dixon (44) and his faithful Northern Inuit canine companion Koda, set off on a 7000 mile journey of the UK coast back in February from Lancashire, collecting unsightly litter and binning it as they go.

It’s thought the journey will take at least a year to complete, with Wayne bringing only a rucksack of supplies and camping along the way. As well as picking up litter, Wayne is also hoping to take part in several community clean-ups in the towns, cities and beaches they visit.

The pair were given an official welcome to Scotland last week when they took part in a litter pick at Carrick Bay organised by Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Marine Conservation Society and Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Children from local Gatehouse School also got involved as well as a group from the National Scenic Area volunteers.

Inspired to make a difference to the coast, Wayne said:

“Scotland is beautiful county and I’ve been saddened to see litter on road sides and in some of the incredible beaches I’ve already visited.

“I’ve always felt very annoyed by litter, there’s so many beautiful places around the coast and I can’t understand why people don’t take pride and try to keep the place they live clean. One day I was so angry about the litter I saw whilst out walking that I started picking it up. After this my anger turned into empowerment and I knew then I had a real purpose for this 7000 mile journey.

“Walking the coast of the UK was something I had a dream about 30 years ago and it finally feels like this is the right time. When I was younger I used to go on a lot of walks with my father and we had planned to do this trip together one day, but sadly he passed away before we had the chance. Now I’m making the journey with Koda, who my dad adopted just before he died.”

Wayne is now calling on volunteers across the country to help him battle the litter blight on his journey. He added:

“On average I’m picking up around four to six big bags of litter every day, so if people would like to get involved and help me out that would be brilliant. I’d love to get suggestions of places along the coast that could benefit from a litter pick and I’d encourage people to get in touch with me on Facebook.

“Litter is also very harmful to wildlife which is something I’m keen to draw attention to. It’s sad that animals are getting hurt to due humans being irresponsible with their rubbish and during the next year I hope to better educate people on this issue.

“The aim of this journey is to not only create a safer cleaner environment for us all to live in, but to change attitudes and take away the idea that litter is always somebody else’s problem. The more mindful people become the more of a difference we can make.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“We were delighted to help Wayne and Koda and believe a lot of people will be inspired by their journey. For us, prevention is always better than cure and we’re working with local authorities and partner organisations to encourage people to be more mindful about how they dispose of their waste.

“By raising awareness we hope to change negative behaviour and tackle littering in communities. This in turn will help boost the recycling of re-useable materials.”

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said:

“We are delighted to support this exceptional effort by Wayne and Koda which compliments the inspirational Clean Up activities of the thousands of volunteers across Scotland that we support.

“Our recent report shows that local environmental quality in Scotland is in decline so there has never been a better time to register and take part in a Clean Up and make a difference to the place you care about.”

Catherine Gemmell, Marine Conservation Society, said:

It was brilliant to have Wayne and Koda join our Beachwatch organiser Anna, to conduct a beach clean and litter survey where together with volunteers and local school pupils we found 645 items of litter including some earphones, a paddle and a small toy crocodile!”

Keep up to date with Wayne and Koda on social media: @WayneKoda on Twitter and on Facebook.

Notes For Editors

Editor’s Notes

  • Wayne is raising money for MIND and the Northern Inuit Rescue Society as part of the journey.
  • Zero Waste Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government to support the delivery of its Circular Economy Strategy and other low carbon and resource efficiency policy priorities.
  • Zero Waste Scotland is helping Scotland to become more efficient in its use of resources. We are supporting progress towards Scotland’s ambitious zero waste targets and enabling Scottish society to reap the benefits of more efficient use of resources.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at . You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland though via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus | LinkedIn
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit our website or follow @scotgovESIF.


For media enquiries contact:

Nicola Hamilton, PR Officer
t: 01786 237 248

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