When you hear the verb wombling perhaps you think of the yellow, long nosed, characters waddling across your tv screens in the 80s and 90s. Well you wouldn’t be wrong.
But that isn’t to say the people wombling in Guernsey are yellow, long nosed characters. But perhaps a slight waddle as they stop in their tracks to collect rubbish off the scenic coastlines is where they get their name.
The pictures of Guernsey you see on a google search or hashtag on Instagram don’t necessarily show polluted beaches from one end of the 9 by 5 mile to the other, no. But this is not what the womblers are trying to suggest. Speaking to a wombler myself he says islanders are lucky that the beaches are protected but it’s the little effort that can make a big difference.
Starting by picking up stray bottle caps and receipts in his pocket, Andrew now carries a self made paint-tin-wombler-bin to the beach with him to make our beaches safer and cleaner. But, what may surprise your initial judgment of supposed greenies that have too much time… Andrew has a day job in finance…. A desire to do voiceovers… and is originally from Zimbabwe. Andrew is not a Guernsey bred and born “donkey” … but instead someone who yes wants to help the environment, as we all say we want to after watching a David Attenborough documentary… But Andrew also does it simply to relax. The mental health benefits one gets from not only helping the environment but a time out to think, stroll along the beach and hope that one day it isn’t a receipt that dropped out someone’s pocket, but a £20 note instead.
NOTE: The Wombles were originally created by Alderney resident Elizabeth Beresford. Alderney is the northernmost of the inhabited Channel Islands and is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.