Self-proclaimed eco-warrier helps make Fenland village a greener place
One Fenland village is slowly becoming the eco-capital of the district thanks to the efforts of one resident who is determined to make a difference.
Nate Landsell, an IT expert, has dedicated his time to setting up the Christchurch Eco Community Project and has already established four specialist recycling centres around the village.
Now he's turning his attention to keeping the local environment tidy and to helping dog owners be more responsible.
The 34-year-old who has only been in the village since 2013 describes himself and a 'can do' person and relishes a challenge.
He said: "People moan and talk about doing something to help the environment and save the planet, but they never actually get around to doing anything. I'm different, I believe in doing and if someone tells me it can't be done or it won't work then that makes me even more determined.
"I set up Christchurch Eco in September and have had a lot of support from local councillor Will Sutton. I wanted to get people recycling more and thinking about waste and to stop stuff going to landfill, that didn't need to.
"I'm not a carpenter by any means but I set up a fundraising page on Facebook and managed to get enough money to build four recycling stations each with four boxes.
"It started with crisp packets and oral care waste such as old toothbrushes and even some of the packaging they come in. Now we are taking batteries and have just started with unwanted asthma inhalers and ink cartridges.
"I really have been amazed at how well it has gone, it has snowballed. It really has captured people's imagination and in three months we have stopped 41kgs of waste going to landfills. A side bonus of this is we have raised £30 for the Townley School.
"It was not initially intended as a fundraiser it is all about the environment, but I deal with company called TerraCycle and they pay for our waste, which is great as we are saving the planet and helping our local school."
Last Saturday (11) Nate organised a litter pick in the village with the aim of establishing a Street Pride group for the village and was overwhelmed by the support he received.
He said: "We had 14 people come along and sign up for the scheme - which is apparently a record for Fenland. Street Pride groups in other villages have that many members, but they have built up membership to get there. We had people volunteer to be the group's chairman and other officers and it is fantastic. We collected 25 bags of waste - 15 of them are of recyclable waste which is amazing - and an old office chair.
"I have been into the school to talk about the project and in particular the collection of crisp packets and I have children coming up to me telling me how many they have recycled. It is their generation that this will effect. It is hard to get adults to change their mindset but the young people really get it."
Nate, who admits in the past he had little interest in saving the planet, is now turning his attention to setting up a Green Dog Walkers Group in the village.
He also works as a Getting it Sorted volunteer with Fenland District Council helping people understand what rubbish goes in which bin.
"It's quite a monumental project and one I'm very proud of, it's been a lot of work to get this far, and although I don't earn from this project the impact to the community far outweighs any money I'd receive.
"We have so many people now getting behind the project wanting to do a little bit to help the planet and to make a better world for the next generation of children.
"I'm hoping we can keep spreading the word and encourage other outlying villages to do the same."