Pensioner’s one-man mission to clean lagoon pays off

BEAUTY SPOT? Tony Braithwaite points out the rubbish at Farleys Brook
BEAUTY SPOT? Tony Braithwaite points out the rubbish at Farleys Brook

THE one-man battle by a grandad to tackle dumped rubbish at a beauty spot in Hucknall has kick-started plans for a major clean-up at the site.

Tony Braithwaite (69), of Conway Road, says the Farleys Brook, which runs parallel with Hucknall bypass, and a lagoon have become an eyesore.

Joining the Dispatch campaign to ‘Clean Up Our Town Centre’, he says items that have been dumped on the site include a bath, gas bottles, food containers and bags of dog faeces.

Mr Braithwaite has been using a footpath by the brook for more than 50 years but decided to take action when “it became an absolute disgrace”.

For several weeks, he has been targeting part of the site behind the JTF warehouse off Daniels Way. His daily tidying mission to collect rubbish from hedgerows has seen him fill more than 14 bin-bags. He says he cannot touch the lagoon, which he feels is contaminated with oil.

But now Ashfield District Council and Notts County Council have joined the fight.

For the county council have sent workers to help clean up the footpath, while Ashfield has tracked down the owner of the lagoon. A full-scale clean-up is now in the pipeline.

Mr Braithwaite said: “That’s great news. Actions are better than words. Things have really become worse since the access road was opened up for businesses off Daniels Way.

“It is a wildlife haven and even attracts a kingfisher. It must be cleaned up fully to protect it.”

Trevor Middleton, a neighbourhood response officer with Ashfield Council, said he was working with the probation service’s Community Payback scheme, which arranges for people ordered to do community service to help with clean-ups.

He said: “We are now working with the owner and things are moving forward.

“It’s nice when members of the public, such as Mr Braithwaite, get involved because we want to work with others to make improvements.”