Blue Peter Star praises Riddings children after woodland litter pick

Layla and Alfie Rowbotham were praised by Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell after going litter picking in their local woodlands
Layla and Alfie Rowbotham were praised by Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell after going litter picking in their local woodlands

A young brother and sister from Riddings have been hailed as heroes by a Blue Peter presenter after staging a woodland litter pick.

Layla and Alfie Rowbotham, aged seven and five, decided to take action after becoming frustrated with the amount of rubbish which lined the route where they walk their springer spaniel Tom.

Mum Georgina Smith, 29, said: “We got the dog six months ago, and it means we’ve been going to Riddings Wood more often.

“The woodland is lovely, and we’re lucky to have it so close by, but people have abused it.”

Layla had often noted the litter, asking her parents why people leave it there.

Georgina said: “She loves animals, and was worried about the impact on wildlife. It came to one week where someone had dumped a whole bag of rubbish, and Layla just decided she’d had enough.

“She said next time we go, we’ll clean it all up, so that’s what they did. Layla organised the whole operation on Sunday, January 14, complete with bin liners and gloves for her and Alfie.”

Together, the pair collected three bagfuls of rubbish from the edge of the path over a three mile walk.

Georgina said: “There were a lot of beer cans. It wasn’t nice stuff to pick up, but they wanted to do it nonetheless.”

Not content with the clear-up, Layla printed out photos from the walk to take into Riddings Junior School so she could help to raise environmental awareness, and was presented with a pride award .

Dad James also shared them on social media, where they caught the eye of Blue Peter presenter Lindsey Russell.

She then shared a photo with her thousands of followers, with the caption: “You guys are my heroes. Definitely worth a green badge.”

Georgina said: “Layla was close to tears when she knew Lindsey replied and that she could get another Blue Peter badge, while Alfie is very excited to be getting his first.

“People say we must have brought them up well, but this was all their idea. It just makes me extremely proud.”