Meet the eight-year-old on a mission to clean up Cornwall's beaches

  • Report by Kathy Wardle

An eight-year-old girl from Newquay is calling on people to stop leaving litter on Cornwall's beaches.

Evie Whaley has been beach cleaning since the age of six and often gets up at 5.30am to pick up rubbish, no matter what the weather is like.

Evie has cleared hundreds of bags of litter from Fistral beach in her mission to protect wildlife and marine animals.

The eight-year-old, who wants to be a vet when she grows up, said: ''I hate seeing all the animals in danger and all the rubbish on the beaches that I know will harm all the animals and go into the ocean.''

Evie says she has found as many as 65 dog poo bags on one walk.

The type of litter left on Fistral has been influenced by the Covid pandemic and there are items which crop up on the shoreline again and again.

Evie often goes out at the crack of dawn in all weathers to protect her favourite beach. Credit: Becky Miles

As she listed them, Evie said: ''Masks, bin liners, poo bags, flip flops, shoes, food wrappers, nails, bottle caps... it's kind of a lot.''

The schoolgirl has found so much rubbish in the past two years that she has even made art from her finds.

But the reality is much uglier. She is particularly concerned for the dunes, which are a haven for wildlife but are being destroyed by beachgoers.

Evie has even turned some of her finds into art to highlight the issue. Credit: Evie Whaley

Her mother Becky Miles said: ''This year's been particularly busy. Last year was busy but this year was even busier.

"I mean we were finding up to six bin liners a day of rubbish and people are trampling through the dunes and having parties and when you go down you'll see they're just disappearing.''

The amount of rubbish often saddens Evie and she wishes people would take their litter home. Credit: Becky Miles

Evie has pledged to keep on litter picking and campaigning to save her favourite beach from being turned into a 'garbage patch'.

Her dream is one day people will take all their litter home and she won't be needed to pick up after them.