MEET Alan Fitzpatrick a chartered engineer who goes litter picking in his spare time to keep fit.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who owns his own litter picker, spends his weekends pounding the pavements of Edgworth filling bags with rubbish.

The public spirited engineer is also a chartered environmentalist as part of his job and so works to promote green issues.

His work came to light after a picture of him was shared on Facebook and received hundreds of likes.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who has lived in the area for about five years, says he gives up his time because he wants to help keep the area clean and tidy.

He said: "There are a number of different reasons why I do it, but I think it is good to keep the area nice.

"I am a chartered environmentalist as part of my job as a chartered engineer, which means that I work to promote sustainability and to help improve green credentials. It helps to keep me fit as well.

"I am away quite a lot of the time with my job, so I go out as much as I can at the weekends and collect as much as I can. I am not the only one who does it though."

Fellow Edgworth resident Gill Ramwell spotted Mr Fitzpatrick while she was driving in the village last month and asked if she could take a picture of him.

She then shared the picture on the Edgworth Now And Then Facebook page.

She said: "Everybody has seen him for years. It is a really nice thing to do and I just wanted to him to know that everyone really appreciates it.

"My family has lived in Edgworth for generations, but it is great that someone who is relatively new to the area is so proud of where they live."

In recognition of his efforts, a number of local businesses have donated gifts to him, and the owner of The White Horse pub has offered Mr Fitzpatrick and his wife a free meal for two.

Residents have praised Mr Fitzpatrick for his hard work on Facebook.

Peter Kennington said: "Good work Alan. Sad that you have to do this in the first place, a lesson in community spirit and a reminder not to drop the litter in our village, someone cleans up after you."

Jacqueline Jones added: "A huge thank you Alan, your efforts do not go unnoticed."