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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Bryson to head litterbug campaign
Bill Bryson
The author wants people to take greater care of their environment.
Bestselling US author Bill Bryson is to head a campaign to stop littering.

He has been nominated as the new president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

Bryson, who became a household name with his book Notes from a Small Island, plans to use the role to call for hefty fines for littering.

He said he had been an admirer of the CPRE for some time and was honoured to be offered the position, which he is expected to take up in July.

'Glories of Britain'

Bryson said he plans to write to Chancellor Gordon Brown and the Conservative leader David Cameron, urging them to make litter a priority and to increase fines for fly-tipping and people who drop litter.

Bill understands and supports our fight across the board
Sir Nigel Thompson
CPRE Chairman

He is also worried that fortnightly rubbish collections will cause more litter.

Bryson, an American who lives in Norfolk, told the BBC: "You're extremely lucky to have such beautiful countryside in this country.

"One of the glories of Britain is the British landscape.

"Almost everybody who lives in this country loves to go out into the countryside and just be there and walk around in it and enjoy the views and enjoy all that greenery and fresh air, and it's really important that this generation does all it can to preserve that."

Precious

He is being put forward for election at the national organisation's annual general meeting on July 9, after being endorsed by the Board of Trustees.

CPRE Chairman Sir Nigel Thompson said: "We're just delighted that Bill has agreed to be put forward as CPRE president. He's a person who communicates how wonderful and precious England's countryside is to the widest possible audience.

"He has particular concerns about some kinds of damage to the countryside, such as litter, and we'll be working with him on those. But Bill understands and supports our fight across the board."

Rubbish in Avon Forest, East Sussex
Councils spend millions clearing up rubbish hot-spots

Bryson, who will formally take up the post after the AGM, said he was "honoured" to have been asked.

"For a very long time I've been a huge admirer of CPRE, what it does and what it stands for. I'd like to help it to build on its successes if I can," he said.

Local authorities spend millions clearing fly-tipping areas.

According to research by the Countryside Alliance, there were 2.5m cases of illegal dumping recorded between April 2005 and 2006.

Liverpool was the worst-offending city, with 1,249,527 incidents of fly-tipping.


Do you have any pictures of fly-tipping in your area or litter ruining the countryside? If so, you can send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk




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