Photo: Pixabay

I went litter picking in my local park yesterday, the first of my monthly volunteering slots with the town’s lengthsmen. Now there’s a title! It’s an old one. These guys were originally employed by the Lord of the Manor to keep the outside environment spick and span. It’s pretty much what they do today.

While the lads worked with chain saws I set about collect rubbish complete with a council owned litter picker and a rubbish sack held open with a hoop. In some ways my haul was disappointing. During the one and a half hours of grubbing around I only managed to fill a quarter of the sack. But then I reminded myself that this was a good thing. Maybe others are litter picking on their own back or maybe more people are dropping their rubbish in the first place. Now that would be a good thing.

What I focused on was keeping my eyes peeled and picking up the small scraps that might not be necessarily noticed on a casual stroll. There were a fair few cigarette butts, little bits of plastic and rather a lot of broken glass. I like to think that I might have saved a few doggy paws by getting removing those. Some members of the public stopped to talk. A couple thanked me for what I was doing. One man regaled me with a tale of removing dog poo bags hung from a tree. Nice!

And in amongst the debris I found nature. There is a crab apple tree stuffed to the gunnels with fruit. I might return in the week to claim a foraging harvest. There was also a patch of cyclamen just like the ones in the photo. My own snaps came out too fuzzy to use. By volunteering to clear the rubbish away I was happy to think that I was making space for nature to flourish.

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  1. we too do a park clean up as a family. We were hoping the younger kids would participate but they seem busy. it’s good to give back and see the effort.

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