DT1: Anti-litter warrior awarded by the CPRE

Dorset Echo: HONOURED: West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin with Bob Kerr from Dorchester Stop the Drop and his award from the CPRE outside the Houses of Parliament HONOURED: West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin with Bob Kerr from Dorchester Stop the Drop and his award from the CPRE outside the Houses of Parliament

A CAMPAIGNER who has been waging a war on Dorchester’s litter has received a national award.

Bob Kerr from the Dorchester Stop the Drop anti litter group has been recognised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

He was presented with a special award from CPRE president and former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion at the charity’s annual general meeting in London.

Founder of the Stop the Drop group Bob has led a pioneering campaign to secure funding to install 100 cigarette butt bins to reduce litter in Dorchester town centre.

The group continues to maintain the bins and identify when they need replacing.

The scheme has been so successful it has inspired CPRE to replicate it elsewhere in the country.

Bob was also recognised for his successful efforts to persuade rail operators to replace ineffective plastic litter bags in the area, which were regularly destroyed by seagulls, with permanent bins.

The group has also been involved in clear-ups around the town and championed those who do their bit to fight litter.

Recently it has been working with local children and schools to promote anti-litter initiatives.

Bob said: “I’m delighted with my award from CPRE.

“I volunteer, like most people, because I want to help make where I live a better place and change people’s attitudes towards dropping litter.

“It’s rewarding to see the impact that our local campaigns have had in Dorchester.”

He added: “Organisations like CPRE play a crucial role in championing the countryside and England’s beautiful towns and villages – and they are getting changes made at a national level to help prevent litter.

“I’d recommend anyone who enjoys the countryside as much as I do to get involved.”

Sir Andrew Motion, president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “I am constantly amazed at the passion shown by CPRE’s many volunteers around England. Their dedication to the charity is humbling and also incredibly motivating.

“What sort of country would England be without them? Certainly a much greyer place.

“It is thanks to people just like Bob that we can still escape to our patches of tranquillity and serenity; fill our lungs with fresh air and tramp our favourite footpaths.

“All communities need a ‘Bob’ – someone with a passion and determination to make where they live a better place.”

Bob received the CPRE award for a Beautiful and Litter-Free Countryside, as well as £500 in prize money.

The award is presented to a volunteer who has been working to reduce litter in the countryside and, through their efforts, has had a positive and sustainable impact.

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