A MUSSELBURGH woman has been presented with a ‘Hero of the Month’ accolade from Keep Scotland Beautiful for her campaign to rid the town of litter.

Melanie Roccio, of Fisherrow, received the national award in August as part of the environmental charity’s national campaign Clean Up Scotland.

She launched the Don’t Mess With Mussy Facebook page in January 2019 with the hope that it would inspire even more local people to take action against litter.

The campaign challenges everyone living and working in Musselburgh to pick up one piece of litter every day. They are also encouraged to adopt a street - pledging to keep it litter free.

More than six months later Don’t Mess with Mussy has attracted more than 800 Facebook followers and helped many local residents to take better care of the parks, streets and open spaces throughout the town.

Melanie said: “It is fantastic to receive this recognition for Don’t Mess with Mussy. I started picking up litter after I noticed so much rubbish lying about when walking my friend’s dog. I realised that instead of complaining about it I should do something about it. I hope to encourage and support many others to do the same.

“There are lots of people in Musselburgh doing their bit to keep the streets, parks and beach clean. People can get involved in many ways – so please visit the Facebook page, join in the conversation and we can work together to get rid of all the rubbish in Musselburgh.”

Her efforts have helped to support the Keep Scotland Beautiful My Beach Your Beach campaign running at Fisherrow Sands, raising awareness of pollution and its impacts on water quality from dog fouling and litter to feeding gulls.

She was presented with the award by Aoife Hutton, community projects officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, who said: “I would like to congratulate Melanie on her efforts.

“Thanks to Melanie and everyone involved in Don’t Mess with Mussy, a significant amount of litter has already been removed from Musselburgh.

“It is fantastic that Melanie is so enthusiastic about removing litter found locally. She sets a fantastic example of how we can all take pride in the places we live and help to deliver environmental improvements.”

The award is supported by The Helping Hand Company which provides each hero with a clean up kit including a Scottish litter picker and handy hoop.

The Clean Up Scotland campaign encourages everyone to get involved by visiting www.keepscotland beautiful.org/cleanupscot land to find out how they can help to achieve its ambition to make Scotland the cleanest country in Europe.