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'He really cares about the world' - Five-year-old's litter-picking spree at local park

PUBLISHED: 10:37 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:37 16 October 2019

Charlie Hornsby, five, went on a litter pick near Mousehold Heath with his stepfather George Potter. Picture: George Potter

Charlie Hornsby, five, went on a litter pick near Mousehold Heath with his stepfather George Potter. Picture: George Potter

George Potter

A five-year-old has been lending a hand to keep his local park in Norwich litter free.

George Potter was walking his stepson Charlie Hornsby home from school through Mousehold Park when the eco-conscious youngster spotted some rubbish on the ground.

Mr Potter, 27, said: "It was quite dark and rainy, I was in a rush to get home, but he [Charlie] saw a crisp packet blowing in the wind and said 'can I pick it up?'

"I said no - that is what I have been taught because it would be dirty - but he asked why and I said 'I don't know'. I was stumped by a five-year-old."

In the end, Mr Potter and Charlie went home to get "some proper gear" including a black bin bag and even dog poo bags before returning to the park for a full-scale litter pick.

"It was chucking it down with rain but he was happy," said Mr Potter.

"Unfortunately we couldn't get everything because there are big thorn bushes, but we did everything we could safely. We even found two golf balls, which I let him keep.

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"He was sad that we had to go back - it was tea time and he had school the next day - but he loved it. He was so glad."

He added: "On the field litter has been a problem for a while. I can understand it because there are no bins but I don't condone it. The neighbourhood is lovely and I think that is one reason why Charlie wants to keep it clean."

Mr Potter and his partner Poppy Dawes-Ayres, who live in Lavengro Road, Norwich, told George's school Mousehold Infant about the litter-picking adventure, for which he earned a letter of commendation.

"The school is fantastic, I think they have 'eco days' and learn about recycling," Mr Potter said.

"As much as we do at home, the school is just as good. Charlie is learning more about the world than we did at school."

Mr Potter said Charlie was very environmentally conscious and hoped his actions would inspire other to do more.

"We try to do as much as we can at home and push the message about cleaning up and recycling. Charlie asks a lot of questions, he is intrigued and I tell him as much as I can for a five-year-old," he said.

"He always asks before he puts something in the bin which bin it goes in and if it can be recycled. He really cares about the world - he is very considerate."

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