Posted by: dorsetcpre | July 1, 2014

Bob Kerr, Dorchester campaigner heralded by national charity as anti-litter champion

Dorchester resident, Bob Kerr, has received a national award from the Campaign to Protect Rural England for his leadership of the Dorchester ‘Stop the Drop’ group and a successful scheme to have cigarette bins installed in the town.

Bob received his award from Sir Andrew Motion, CPRE president and former Poet Laureate at the charity’s annual general meeting in London last week.

Sir Andrew Motion CPRE President presents CPRE award for a Beautiful and Litter-free Countryside to Bob Kerr with Sam Harding

Sir Andrew Motion CPRE President presents CPRE award for a Beautiful and Litter-free Countryside to Bob Kerr with Sam Harding

As founder of the local anti-litter group, Dorchester Stop the Drop, Bob has led a pioneering campaign to secure funding and install 100 cigarette butt bins to reduce litter in Dorchester town centre. Bob and his fellow activists now maintain the bins and identify when they need replacing.

This scheme has been so successful it inspired CPRE’s national office to replicate it elsewhere in the country.

In addition, Bob was recognised for his successful campaign to persuade rail operators to replace ineffective plastic litter bags in the area, regularly destroyed by seagulls, with permanent bins. He has also ensured major ‘grot spots’ in town have been cleaned up, and created the litter picker hero awards to support local litter-picking volunteers.

Currently, Bob and his Stop the Drop team are introducing anti-litter initiatives to local primary schools and recently helped launch a poster campaign. The winning posters now appear in shops around the town where they help to spread the anti-litter message.

Bob Kerr from CPRE Dorset, winner of the CPRE Award for a Beautiful and Litter-Free Countryside, said:

“I’m delighted with my award from CPRE. I volunteer, like most people, because I want to help make where I live a better place and change people’s attitudes towards dropping litter. It’s rewarding to see the impact that our local campaigns have had in Dorchester.

“We have installed over a hundred cigarette butt bins around the town and persuaded the rail operators to replace the ineffective plastic litter bags at the Dorchester stations with permanent bins. My campaigning colleagues and I also successfully lobbied the council to get major grot spots in Dorchester cleaned up, and we’ve created the litter picker hero awards to support local litter-picking volunteers. We were instrumental in the recent launch of a Dorchester-wide anti-litter poster competition amongst local schools, with the winning posters displayed in shops around the town.

“Organisations like CPRE play a crucial role in championing the countryside and England’s beautiful towns and villages – and they are getting changes made at a national level to help prevent litter. I’d recommend anyone who enjoys the countryside as much as I do to get involved.”

Sir Andrew Motion, President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:

“I am constantly amazed at the passion shown by CPRE’s many volunteers around England. Their dedication to the charity is humbling and also incredibly motivating. What sort of country would England be without them? Certainly a much greyer place.

“It is thanks to people just like Bob that we can still escape to our patches of tranquillity and serenity; fill our lungs with fresh air and tramp our favourite footpaths. All communities need a ‘Bob’ – someone with a passion and determination to make where they live a better place.”

The CPRE Award for a Beautiful and Litter-Free Countryside, along with £500 prize money, is presented to a volunteer who has been working to reduce litter in the countryside and, through their efforts, has had a positive and sustainable impact.

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