The Wirral-based environmentalist Elizabeth Gadsdon

PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 October 2019

Elizabeth Gadston, photo credit Rob Evans

Elizabeth Gadston, photo credit Rob Evans

Rob Evans Photography Ltd

She may only be eight years old but Elizabeth Gadsdon is proving age is just a number when it comes to saving the world

We're constantly being told we need to step up to help the environment. And whilst many of us will go above and beyond to be that bit 'greener', it's fair to say it's often the younger generation leading the way when it comes to protecting our increasingly endangered planet.

No-one proves this more than pocket-sized powerhouse Elizabeth Gadsdon, currently a Year Four pupil at Kingsmead School in Hoylake.

Two years ago she witnessed a man throwing litter from his car. 'I instantly knew it was wrong, and I couldn't understand why he'd done it,' she reflects.

She asked her mum to pull over so she could pick it up herself. By the time they arrived home she'd decided that singular act wasn't enough and regular litter picks in her local area would be the best way to make a real, tangible difference.

With the help of her parents, Elizabeth took to social media to raise awareness of the work she was doing - she set up Facebook and Twitter pages under the name of 'The Little Collector'. Whilst 'little' may sum up her size, her determination to have her voice heard should not be underestimated.

'I thought it was a good idea to try and spread a positive message and to show that anyone can make a difference,' she says.

'As time went on, local people started to get in touch and ask if their children could join me.' And so in July 2017 Elizabeth set up 'The Little Collector Crew', an initiative which unites like-minded young people in Wirral to do a litter pick every month.

Elizabeth's efforts to protect our natural environment go further than a monthly collection, though; from wrapping up presents in recycled brown paper to making a conscious effort to use less plastic.

And her efforts have been rewarded: she was crowned as the Young Litter Hero at the 2019 Network Awards and she also won the Prime Minister's Point of Light Award in 2018.

'I just want a clean world so dogs don't cut their paws on broken glass, and so that fish can swim in the sea without swallowing plastic,' she says.

'I want people to care more and to love this beautiful world.'

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