2005-11-14

Intolerance: Litter-Picking on Britian's Highest Peak

A man known affectionately as 'Rob the Rubbish' was so ashamed by the litter on Britain's highest peak that he spent two days cleaning it up. Mr.Robin Kevan, 66, of Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, sprang into action after hearing about Ben Nevis on BBC Radio 5 Live. The retired social worker filled six bin bags halfway up the 4,406ft (1,344m) Highland mountain. Mr.Kevan won the applause of 'The Mountaineering Council of Scotland', which called it a 'selfless act'. He gained his nickname after taking to collecting litter in his home town, which is officially the smallest in the UK. He leaves his home at dawn and spends two hours cleaning up the area. He said he was astonished to hear on Radio 5 about Ben Nevis's problems.
'That sort of stirred me up,' said the father-of-three. 'I went to Scotland on 3rd and 4th of November and went up the main access route and started litter picking.'
He brought down empty crisp packets, drinks cans and bottles, cigarette packets, tissues and even wet clothes.
'If one person from Wales can travel to Scotland and pick litter then why can't people in Scotland do it?' he asked. 'I'm not an angry old man. I just felt ashamed that Britain's highest peak had such a problem and I wanted to do something about it. 'I met people from Italy, Poland, Denmark and other countries when I was on the mountain and they couldn't believe why people dropped litter at such a beautiful place.'
'The Mountaineering Council of Scotland' said litter was a growing problem on Ben Nevis, with people happy to carry full drink and food cartons up the mountain, but reluctant to carry empty ones down. Mr.Kevin Howett, the council's national officer, said:
'This was a really selfless act -- fantastic,' he said. 'If other people had that sort of motivation it would not take long to clear Ben Nevis. 'We have a saying, take only photographs and leave only footprints when visiting Ben Nevis.'
Mr.Kevan has written an article about his efforts for 'The BBC Action Network', open forum run for people to make contributions on issues that matter to them. 'Litter picker cleans up Ben Nevis', BBC News, 2005-11-12

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