Ploggers young and old keep fit and clean up litter at Wandsworth’s King George park

Plogging’s largest ever event came to Wandsworth’s King George park on Saturday as people collected rubbish whilst on a five-kilometre run or a two-kilometre walk.

More than 100 people took part in the Swedish craze that’s come to London, picking up 251 cans and over 300 plastic bottles littered around the park.

Founders of the British ‘Plog-olution!’ Kingston resident Michelle Parkes, 39, and Dermot Kavanagh, 30, from Putney led three different groups around King George park as part of Wandsworth Council’s #mywandsworth campaign – pictured above.

“You should go home feeling really proud, you’ve got your exercise and made the planet just that tiny little bit tidier but when we all come together what we can do good!” said Dermot after the Plog.

“We just want to take it as far as we can, our dream is to have groups all over the world who are picking up rubbish and ultimately be in a place where we no longer have to pick up rubbish.

“We’ve done Plogs in Kingston, as far out as Hackney, we’ve gone up to Manchester and even had a group in Ohio in the United States

“We’ve definitely got an environment that needs looking after,” he added.

Ages on the Plog ranged from 89-year-old Frances Fairhurst, to two and a half-year-old Atticus Pitman.

Councillor Steffi Sutters said: “Plogging sends out a clear signal that so many of us are determined to preserve our environment and will give up our free time to collect the rubbish dropped by an inconsiderate minority.

“Wandsworth Council’s support for plogging is just one of the many ways that we are encouraging residents to take pride in our wonderful borough, whilst sending a strong message to those that litter that what they do is unacceptable.”

Michelle said: “We’re going into schools because we’re trying to educate children and hopefully get the next generation of conservationists.”

Occupational therapist and the head of the Plog-olutions schools programme, Phoebe Abrahams said: “Movement in childhood is essential to development and there is a body of research which evidences a direct correlation between delayed or immature motor skill development and academic attainment.

“There are multifaceted benefits of plogging and, as a paediatric Occupational Therapist, I can see the functional benefits of it for children too. As well as social and interaction opportunities, working alongside peers and talking to generations of people from all walks of life that they may not have otherwise had contact with.”


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