‘Inspirational’ Cecilia’s bruck collection feat gains national recognition

A top Shetland bruck collector Cecilia James has been hailed as an “inspiration” after finishing runner-up at a nationwide civic champion award ceremony this week.

It followed a massive roadside clear-up last autumn when the 66-year-old, who stays in Vidlin, gathered more than 250 bags of waste from an 18-mile stretch of the main road between Voe and Lerwick.

She had been nominated by Lerwick Community Council in the civic champion category of the My Place awards, run by the Glasgow-based Scottish Civic Trust.

A community council spokes­woman said there had been “a tremendous amount of nominations of a very high standard” and she was delighted to learn that Cecilia was named runner-up.

Scottish Civic Trust director John Pelan said Cecilia set a terrific example in demonstrating the im­portance of looking after the environment.

“Through her marathon ‘litter pick’ from Voe to Lerwick … Cecilia is an inspiration to all of us,” he said. “Incredibly, she collected 256 bags of rubbish between September [and] November 2012.”

Cecilia was pipped to the top prize by Duncan Campbell for his sterling conservation work in the Edinburgh suburb of Colinton.

Several skips containing plastic and glass bottles, drinks cans, food packaging and cigarette packets were filled following Cecilia’s clear-up.

Unusual items lying by the road included a lamp stand complete with plug, an extension lead, a vacuum flask, a potty, CDs and an adult-themed DVD.

The project was sparked by a letter to this newspaper from a tourist cyclist who had been appalled by the mess left by the roadside.


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