01 May 2019 by Jason Owen
Jason Owen, publicity officer for the Berkshire Ramblers, talks about combining group walks with tidying up the countryside.
On a sunny weekend April we took part in our second Berkshire Walkers litter pick. Our first one was back in October 2018 around Theale and was a great success. So we decided to host another one in conjunction with the Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean.
This time I decided to hold our litter pick event around the village of Spencers Wood near Reading, to help battle the problem of discarded litter we find on our walks and along footpaths.
We are seeing more and more litter being discarded along our footpaths these days. Firstly, it’s unsightly and secondly it’s dangerous to animals. Why can’t people just put their litter into bins or even take it home with them?
On this very sunny Saturday morning we had eight eager litter collectors to take part in our walk from the Park and Ride in Spencers Wood. Amazingly we nearly filled two bags of rubbish even before we left the car park! We could have done our litter pick just in the car park, but we headed out to the local footpaths.
Some of the litter that we collected ranged from empty drinks cans, plastic bottles, discarded food packaging (plenty of single use coffee cups), cigarette butts and even items of clothing (We found a jumper, leggings, socks and even someone’s discarded underwear!) All stuff that should be put into a bin (or kept on) and not chucked into the nearest hedge or verge.
As we meandered our way along our walk we were also picking up discarded dog poo bags. You have spent the time picking up…why not take it home instead of throwing it into the nearest bush?
The further away we got from the built-up areas we noticed the quantity of litter decreasing but as we headed back towards civilisation we noticed the quantity of litter starting to increase again unfortunately. We could have been out all day collecting discarded rubbish and still not have picked it all up.
I’m very pleased to say there are now parts of Spencers Wood which are a little bit clearer of litter thanks for the efforts of all these wonderful people who took the time and effort to help tidy up a small part of our countryside.
Always remember to take your rubbish home with you. As a regular member of our group always says: ‘You should leave the countryside as you found it.’
We collected seven full bags of discarded rubbish on our walk and safely deposited it all at the local dump, to be disposed of in the correct way.
(We were joined by a photographer from the Daily Mail newspaper too – he must have taken hundreds of pictures! So keep your eyes open as some of our photos which may appear in their articles.)
Ramblers volunteers are working hard across the country help to protect the places we all love to walk. Find out more about becoming a volunteer.