A YOUNG activist is volunteering her time to pick up litter and urging residents to follow in her footsteps.

Summer Stewart is a nine-year-old from Halstead who loves to keep wildlife safe.

She joined the Green Heart Champion initiative by Braintree Council after seeing how much litter was lying around.

Mum Ela Stewart said: "I took Summer and her brother Jamie litter picking once as part of her Girl Guiding badge, and they both enjoyed making the area tidier.

"Summer’s particular comments were making sure she was keeping wildlife safe.

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"Since then, if we ever went to the park she would say she wished she had a bag just so she could pick a few bits up.

"I saw Braintree Council running the Green Heart Champions scheme and instantly knew Summer would love this.

"We are very proud that Summer does feel strongly about the amount of litter she sees, as she doesn’t understand why people can’t wait until they see a bin or take the rubbish home with them.

"We fully support Summer in this, so we plan on going out again this weekend, and hope to do more of this now the weather is improving.

"It's such a nice thing to do whilst going on a family walk."