Brixham’s Hannah Beaumont is line for a top award – for litter-picking.

Hannah, 25, who spends up to eight hours every week litter picking on Brixham’s beaches, has made it through to the semi-finals of Eventbrite’s Hobby Hero competition, which saw hundreds of entries from throughout the UK.

The competition was launched in May to find Britain’s greatest hobbyist and help them share their pastime with others in an effort to get the nation connected again.

Hannah, who is a support worker for Yes! Brixham, took up the hobby four years ago in Yorkshire after she was inspired by her grandfather who litter picked each day. Hannah moved to Brixham three years ago and now beach cleans up to three times a week. On weekends, she can litter pick for up to five hours, filling two industrial sized bin bags.

If Hannah wins the competition, she will receive a £5,000 prize – £2,500 in cash and £2,500 worth of support from Eventbrite’s experts to help share her passion with others.

She says: “I started litter picking as an enjoyable and relaxing way to pass my time, but over the years I’ve become a committed conservationist. I tend to litter pick by myself, but sometimes other people will join me. I clean under the name of ‘Me and the Plastic Sea’ and you can see pictures of what I find on my social channels.

“Sadly, the litter seems to get worse each year, and has been especially bad since the pandemic. I find so many face masks, alongside plastic straws, fishing wire and cigarette butts. I once found a Kellogg’s toy from the 1950s, but the strangest thing I found was a fish paste dish from the 1800s. I now use it as a soap dish! The most frustrating collection though was over 100 poo bags. There’s no excuse for not taking your litter away with you.

“David Attenborough is my hero. I’ve written to him twice now and he’s replied both times. I’d love to meet him. If I win the Eventbrite Hobby Hero competition, I will use the money to buy myself a new mobile phone. The one I have now has fallen out of my pocket and into the water and sand so many times that I’m amazed it still works.”

In-person and online activities on Eventbrite such as beekeeping, pottery and yoga helped attendees stay occupied throughout the pandemic. During several lockdowns, Eventbrite saw thousands either continue to pursue their interests or take up new hobbies by joining online workshops and classes.

Eventbrite’s Sebastian Boppert says: “The entries we received range from the more traditional to the weird and wonderful, and Hannah’s stood out as a really worthwhile and inspiring hobby. Hannah clearly dedicates a lot of time to her hobby, and it must be having such a positive impact on her local environment. I wish her all the best as one of our semi-finalists.”

Semi-finalists have been chosen from various regions in the UK to reach the national final, and a panel of judges will announce the winner at the end of July.

Original Story on Torbay Weekly