Monday, 28 March 2011

Litter Picking on Ivy Green

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday, 27th March) a litter picking event was held on the Ivy Green part of the Chorlton Ees and Ivy Green Local Nature Reserve (that's the part north of Chorlton Brook). The event had been organised by the Mersey Valley Countryside Warden Service in conjunction with FoCM.

We know that there's a lot of concern locally about litter but we were suprised, and very gratified, when 22 people turned up for this event! A fanatastic turn-out for what is not a very glamorous task.

In all between 45 to 50 black, plastic bin liners were filled with rubbish. Last month a smaller number of people filled 15 bags - so that's over 60 bags of assorted litter removed from the reserve in a month.

Mainly the litter consisted of:

- Plastic soft drinks bottles.

- Beer, cider and soft drinks cans.

- Beer and spirits bottles.

- Plastic bags - the most unpleasant of these being those containing dog faeces.

- Discarded clothing.

- Various scraps of wood, cloth and paper.

- Miscellaneous 'stuff' - the most surprising being a part of a steel exercise machine and a small safe which had been prised open!

Sadly, among all of the responsible people who enjoy our precious green spaces, there's a sizeable minority of anti-social people who spoil it for everyone else. No doubt, if challenged, those people would whinge about there not being enough litter bins - but they should bear in mind that it costs money to empty bins, and if there were a bin every few yards, I doubt that such selfish idiots would use them.

I must also add that looking at the types of litter picked up it's fairly obvious which types of users are the main culprits.

Over the last few years the local authorities have prioritised access to the Meadows over everything else. But they have to realise that giving priority to access is a 'two-edged sword'. On the one hand it is a good thing that more people are now enjoying the countryside on their doorstep. But every population contains anti-social elements and these people also now have increased access to our Meadows and are threatening to spoil things for the responsible majority. I think that the local authorities are themselves guilty of irresponsibility over this and they are now compounding the problem by cutting the Warden Service even further. FoCM are not happy at the prospect of having to do even more litter picking - that's not why we formed in the first place! If you are as concerned about litter as we are please ensure that you complain long and hard to the Council.

Dave Bishop, March 2011


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