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Trash girl joins family clean-up after dozens of broken sledges are dumped on Mousehold Heath

PUBLISHED: 10:47 05 March 2018

Amelia-Faie Weeks, eight, with some of the plastic and rubbish they collected from St James' Hill, Mousehold Heath. PIC: Ben Weeks.

Amelia-Faie Weeks, eight, with some of the plastic and rubbish they collected from St James' Hill, Mousehold Heath. PIC: Ben Weeks.

Archant

A family who were so horrified by the amount of litter they found while out sledging have helped to inspire a clean-up of a Norwich beauty spot.

Some of the broken sledges and plastic found littered on Mousehold Heath. PIC: Ben WeeksSome of the broken sledges and plastic found littered on Mousehold Heath. PIC: Ben Weeks

The snow that has been dropped on the city following the Siberian cold front has meant that places like St James’ Hill at Mousehold Heath have proved a magnet for winter fun-seeking families.

And it was there where Ben Weeks, 39, his wife Emily, 34, and daughter Amelia-Faie, eight, headed with their sledges to try to make the most of the white stuff before it melted.

But their fun soon turned to upset and anger after they found “swathes” of litter, including broken plastic sledges, bags, other bits of plastic and even a car bonnet at the bottom of the hill.

Mr Weeks, who writes for an outdoor magazine, said: “It was shocking and quite upsetting, bearing in mind there were lots of kids about playing - some of those shards of plastic were really sharp.”

Norwich wakes up to a covering of snow. Sledging on Mousehold Heath.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich wakes up to a covering of snow. Sledging on Mousehold Heath. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Driving back to their Old Catton home, they discussed how the rubbish they saw had “spoilt” their day and did not want it to be the case for others.

Mr Weeks said they got home, emptied the boot and turned the car around to go back to Mousehold Heath and “pick up as much as we could”.

And while loading broken sledges and other bits of plastic into the back of their car, to take away to be recycled, Mr Weeks said others saw what they were doing and also helped out.

Mr Weeks said: “What was really nice was once we started doing it other people started helping us.”

Norwich wakes up to a covering of snow. Sledging on Mousehold Heath.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorwich wakes up to a covering of snow. Sledging on Mousehold Heath. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

After an initial tidy up on Friday, March 2, a further clean-up session was organised for yesterday morning (Sunday, March 4) which was attended by a number of people, including Hellesdon High School pupil Nadia Sparkes, 12, otherwise known as Trash Girl, for her litter-clearing exploits.

Mr Weeks said: “We’ve got most of it. Potentially once the snow has gone there will be more rubbish and there’s some talk about going back but most of it has gone.

“It’s nice that people were taking responsibility, saying we didn’t make this mess but we’re going to do something about getting rid of it. It was the community spirit.”

He said his daughter was “really keen to help” clean up as she had been quite upset and could not understand why the rubbish had been left there in the first place.

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