Little Layla enjoys a pick-me-up in the Rivington countryside

A five year old schoolgirl has embarked on a messy mission to clean up the countryside near where she lives.

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 12:30 pm
It's a real pick-me-up for Layla

Little Layla Lavin has taken on the challenge with a special goal in mind - to earn a Blue Peter Badge.

The clean up operation has been a pick-me-up in more ways than one for the youngster.

For due to Covid-19 she has been in and out of school and is really missing her friends.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Bags of fun

The litter pick has been something to get stuck into in the fresh and take her mind off not being with her school pals.

Whatever the weather, Layla, who attends Balshaw Lane Euxton Primary School, heads up to Rivington every weekend with her mum Rebecca West, 38.

Rebecca is engaged to Craig Lavin - they have planned to get married this year - and the family live in Chorley.

Rebecca, who works as a community development manager for housing association ForHousing in Salford, explained how the litter pick challenge came about: "It was my idea really. We were just looking for something to do and make sure she's getting outside - in her words 'saving the world.' We've always talked about litter picking.

And bags of hard work

"It's hard at the minute for everybody. We all know being outside helps your mental health.

"We've been up Rivington to the Pike once a week, we've done it four times now.

"The target is a Blue Peter Badge - you have to be six to get one. We thought it would be a nice little challenge for her."

Mum gets stuck in, too.

Layla hard at work

"I have to carry the bag at the end," said Rebecca. "She can't lift it because there's that much!"

Rebecca said the snow had attracted folk out to the beauty spot and described the amount of left left behind as "horrendous" and "sad to see".

Rebecca said it was heartbreaking to see Layla unable to have fun with her friends.

"It's so sad, you know.

She's got the bottle for it

"She's an only child. She literally has been crying over it.

"She misses her friends so much."

The youngster has even put up a photograph of her classmates on her bedroom wall to make her feel closer to them.

And she keeps in touch with meet ups on the computer.

Rebecca said: "She talks about Covid. You don't really realise how much they pick up. She understands that things are closed."

Rebecca described Layla as a 'girly girl who likes barbie dolls' but said she still loved to get out and get messy picking up litter.

And another one

"She comes back a different colour, full of mud," she said.

Layla will be six on April 23 - St George's Day when she will write off to Blue Peter for her well-deserved badge.

Stepping up to the challenge