Tyne & Wear

Three-year-old Matilda Rusby spurs mass clean up

Matilda litter picking
Image caption Picking up other people's litter, Matilda said people should "put it in the bin"

A three-year-old girl has persuaded her community to carry out a mass litter pick.

Matilda Rusby's family posted pictures on social media of her clearing rubbish, prompting North Tyneside Council to increase the number of bins and warning signs on its streets.

Now residents have come out in force to join her campaign.

Householder Ali Conway said it was often "the children who need to give us a wake up call sometimes".

"There's times we've come out of the house and thought 'look at the rubbish' and it's a bit embarrassing," she said.

Image copyright Frankie Rusby
Image caption Her mother, Frankie, said: "Why should my three-year-old have to do this? If she knows better why don't others?"

Matilda's mother, Frankie Rusby, said she had taught her dropping litter was wrong but "when she was repeatedly seeing the rubbish on the floor she couldn't understand why it was happening".

After the council offered more bins, wardens and better signage the obvious next stage was a "big spring clean", she said.

Jake Rusby, Matilda's father, said it was "nice to be doing something positive but it's a shame at the same time that she has to be the one doing it".

"She's three and she already knows that litter is wrong whereas people who are fully grown adults don't know," he said.

Image caption Residents living in Matilda's community came out in force to pick up litter

Ruth Beddoo came out to help because she did not want to disappoint a "little kid".

"I walk up and down and there's many a time I think I should organised a litter pick but I never do," she said.

"You get busy with other things."

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