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Vidlin woman’s marathon Hairst Redd Up

66 year old Cecilia James begins her marathon redd up. Pic. Shetland News

A COMMUNITY spirited Shetland woman is braving wind and rain for a mammoth clean-up operation after being appalled by the amount of litter drivers chuck out of their vehicles.

Cecilia James, from Sweening, is collecting rubbish from both verges of the A970 between the Vidlin junction and Lerwick, a 17 mile stretch on Shetland’s main road.

Having started on Wednesday morning at the north end of the Kames, she had already filled two rubbish bags after barely 100 metres.

The retired hospital teacher from Devon who moved to Shetland two years ago said she had become fed up with people throwing away empty cans, plastic bottles and other bruck.

What finally triggered her hands-on activism was a letter in The Shetland Times a few weeks ago from a couple from Yorkshire who expressed their horror with the amount of litter they encountered when on a cycling holiday this summer.

“What I am doing is a community thing. I am trying to preserve the beauty of Shetland and hopefully improve the experience of driving in Lerwick so that people don’t have to drive past all this rubbish.

“Shetland’s beauty is very important to me, it is one of the reasons why I came to live here.”

The 66 year old expects it will take her until Christmas to cover the whole distance to Lerwick.

However she is under no illusion that her selfless act will change people’s behaviour and expects to be out again next year, but hopefully with a few volunteers joining her.

James is being supported by Shetland Amenity Trust who provided gloves, green bags, a high visibility vest, and some health and safety advice about the dangers of working beside a busy road.

Environment improvement officer Sita Goudie will also publicise her progress on the trust’s Dunna Chuck Bruck Facebook site.