On Thursday 4th October 2018, Wayne Dixon who has been on a five-year coastal walk with his Northern Inuit dog and companion, Koda made his way into Bournemouth and Poole.
His odyssey started as a life-long goal to walk the coast of Britain with his late father who sadly passed away before his dream could be realised. Wayne also took this epic walk as an opportunity to raise awareness for the mental health charity MIND and the Northern Inuit Rescue Society.
In a show of support, litter action group the Dorset Devils, led by the founder, Peter Ryan, were on hand to receive Wayne – who incidentally is their 200th member. Wayne and Koda were met at the Sandbanks ferry crossing, having traversed the Purbecks, and the group walked along the promenade to Bournemouth, litter picking along the seafront as they went.
The ‘Leave Only Footprints’ Engagement Coordinator, Emily Fergusson also joined the party from Bournemouth to Boscombe to support Wayne’s commendable cause in protecting Britain’s natural magnificence.
In a chat with Emily, Wayne spoke about the challenges he has encountered including extreme weather conditions. He chooses not to dwell upon these challenges and instead focus on the highlights. These include a standing ovation at the Keep Britain Tidy Annual network conference where he received the Outstanding Litter Hero Award.
Through hearing about Wayne’s journey, individuals have been inspired to set up their own litter picking groups and even begin great walks on their own. In his words, ‘’I had no idea that what started as a childhood dream would develop into such a life changing experience or that so many people would take interest. If I was to write a book about my journey, it would not be about the litter or the landscape, it would be people focused’’.
Wayne who is now almost half way round his journey was treated to a meal by the team at Urban Reef – a seafront restaurant close to Boscombe Pier that is passionate about the aims of the ‘Leave Only Footprints’ campaign.
Wayne tweets about his progress on his Twitter handle @WayneKoda and invites anyone to follow his journey.