The littlest litter picker... Holly, 9, cleans up 20 miles of her town

Holly Steward, 9, has completed 20 miles of litter picking in the Dereham area. She is pictured with her mum, Laura

Holly Steward, 9, has completed 20 miles of litter picking in the Dereham area. She is pictured with her mum, Laura - Credit: Laura Steward

An inspiring youngster has successfully met her goal of completing 20 miles worth of litter picking in a year.

Holly Steward, from Dereham, set out during 2021 to clean up her town one piece of rubbish at a time. 

Holly Steward, from Dereham, out litter picking with her husband, Oliver

Holly Steward, from Dereham, out litter picking with her cousin, Oliver - Credit: Laura Steward

And, despite the challenges presented by coronavirus, the nine-year-old managed to reach her target on Thursday (December 30) after picking for more than four miles up to Daffy Green with her cousin, Oliver.

Along the way, she has managed to raise more than £1,000 for Stand Up To Cancer. 

Holly's mother, Laura, who is herself a prominent litter picker and has helped inspire her daughter, said the whole family was "extremely chuffed".

She added: "When Covid hit again in recent months and there was a chance of more restrictions, we started to panic that it was not going to happen.

Holly Steward litter picking with the Dereham Community Litter Pick Group

Holly Steward litter picking with the Dereham Community Litter Pick Group - Credit: Laura Steward

"We are extremely proud of Holly. She has really been aiming for this, so she is really pleased. 

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"Even now, the money is still going up. Initially we didn't have a target amount but, when we realised we were getting close to £1,000, we wanted to make that our goal."

Many of Holly's miles have been completed while out with the Dereham Community Litter Pick Group, a newly-formed band of like-minded people determined to tidy up the town's problem streets. 

It already has around 100 members, who meet every fortnight at Queen Mother's Garden before targeting certain areas. 

Members of the newly-formed Dereham Community Litter Pick Group

Members of the newly-formed Dereham Community Litter Pick Group - Credit: Laura Steward

Over the past few months, pickers young and old have collected dozens of bags of rubbish from locations including Safari Way, Yaxham Road and the Recreation Ground off Station Road.

While Holly has been able to harness the issue of littering to do something positive, Mrs Steward said their litter picks could be disheartening

"Yet again, the amount of litter Holly found on her latest pick was madness," she said.

"My sister-in-law told me that bottles had already been tossed to the side of the road since we went out on Thursday. 

Holly Steward, from Dereham, has raised more than £1,000 for Stand Up To Cancer

Holly Steward, from Dereham, has raised more than £1,000 for Stand Up To Cancer - Credit: Laura Steward

"Holly gets really angry with what she finds, and when we get shredded cans she worries about animals being cut on them. 

"Even Oliver, who is only four years old, was asking why there was so much rubbish. Holly is a real inspiration to him."

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/holly-litterpick.



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