A GOUROCK man is on a mission to keep Inverclyde beautiful - and urging local business and the community to join him.

Stephen Henry was inspired to set up an online community forum - the 'Literati Guide to Inverclyde' - after becoming fed up with rubbish blighting the stunning local landscape.

Instead of just complaining about it on the internet, the 55-year-old keen walker and photographer decided to take direct action.

He set up an online Facebook page to highlight the issue and organise litter picks throughout the area, with another event lined up later this month.

Stephen told the Tele: "I set up the forum to get solutions.

"This is a real opportunity here for the Inverclyde community to put a stake in the ground and say we're going to be the most environmentally friendly place in Scotland and attract people into the area and develop investment and additional jobs.

"There's opportunity."

Stephen says environmental problems have become the norm and he is determined to change that.

He said: "We live in the most stunning landscape with some of the most gorgeous views in the whole of Britain.

"It's important that we maintain that."

Stephen says the reaction to the forum has been extremely positive.

He's thrilled to have the backing of Alex McGilp, the general manager at Fenwick 47, and Robert MacDonald, who is the vice president of the Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce.

Robert is working with Stephen to encourage more local businesses to get involved with plans to sponsor a new category at the Bee's Knees business awards to recognise local companies helping the environment.

Restaurant and bar boss Alex says he is also delighted to support such an important cause.

He said: "I think this will empower people to take pride in Inverclyde.

"We want to try and do our bit to get the whole town cleaned up and to encourage people to take more responsibility themselves."

The next litter pick is at Lyle Hill on Saturday April 20 from 9.30 to 11am and thereafter at Fenwick's 47 in West Blackhall Street.

Anyone who would like to volunteer can register their interest via the Facebook event page named 'Lyle Hill Litter Haul II'.