A CAMPAIGNER with a passion for keeping Andover clean has come out of retirement, ahead of a major operation.

Attitude of Gratitude founder Manuela Wahnon is due to undergo a triple heart bypass, but after realising her recovery time would be substantial, she knew that something had to be done.

Manuela used to litter pick every morning and now only collects rubbish on her way and in and out of town, however for the next two weeks she will be back armed with her can-do attitude.

“My recovery period is going to be a substantially long one, I hit on the idea of seeing how far round the town I can get in early mornings over the next two weeks.”

On her blog, Manuela wrote: “It is my intention, to go out every morning from today [Monday], for the next 14 days, to not only build up my fitness levels but of course, to see how much further around my town I can get, then home for breakfast, and a shower. And yes, of course, I will be doing so in high heel shoes.”

And on the first day of her mission, Manuela stopped six plastic bottles from being chucked into the river, and was able to give a dead bird ‘a decent burial’.

She added on her blog: “Now it’s not for me to say that six people did this, or that one person drank six bottles of water, or that two people drank three, but what I can tell you, is that one pensioner, bent down without a litter picker, picked up all six bottles and the packaging, and saved this all from going into the river.

“My question to everyone is simple: “Why did no one else save the river from this pollution, please?” 

During her first day Manuela picked up 26 items, adding: “All the bending stretch and walking is so good for you.”

“In the great scheme of things that happen in our town it isn’t much, but if we all picked up something every day and popped into a bin our town would look so much nicer.”

Manuela retired from full-time litter picking in 2014, with a team of well-wishers gathered outside the Guildhall to join her on her last early-morning patrol.

Her work led her to become Andover’s most-famous litter picker — she even received a commendation from the prime minister.