We are indebted to Graham Smith of Lee-on-the-Solent Litteraction who has sent us these stories :
I carry out a litter pick around my area every two days. The area covers Alver Bridge and much of Alver Bridge View. I also clear bikes, scooters etc. from Workhouse Lake. Thankfully this does not happen very often but when it does I ask Streetscene to pick the items up, which they have done so on the same day.
The area is well supported by two large litter bins and two dog bins yet still some people choose not to take any pride in where they live – enforcement is required.
Richard Gowen (Alverstoke, Gosport)
Hill Head residents do not have any formal litter picking groups and the Fareham Borough Council beachfront litter picking employee is not operational during the winter months. However, some of the seafront residents and beach hut owners keep their ‘patch’ free of litter and Tony Pepper and Linda Monk work a job share, conducting voluntary litter picking duties on behalf of Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve and cover the seafront Haven boundary and the historic sea lock. The Fareham Society organise a thorough beach clean west of Meon Shore every spring.
Some of the litter is washed up with the tide; the rest emanates from various sources and includes the occupants of cars visiting the seafront, (mostly the remnants of fast food takeaways), rubbish left by fishermen, ‘used’ doggy bags left on the footpath (or hanging from trees!) and food scavenged by foxes from over-full litter bins.
Tony Pepper (Hillhead, Fareham)
When I walk along the beach I often think what would happen if nobody bothered to litter pick. We have probably picked up enough litter from the beach alone to fill two double decker buses over the last two years. Many hundreds of Litteraction enthusiasts have more than likely collected the same or more all over the UK. I believe it is time for action – let’s start by lobbying for more enforcement officers and tougher government action.
The whole point is we have to stop the dropping of litter. I give my time freely to pick it up – let’s start charging people fortunes for dropping it.
Action-on-litter enthusiast, Mike Chapman (Lee-on-the-Solent)
The Give, Gain and Grow Volunteers litterpicking team can be said to be true ‘Street Friends’ of Town Ward. We regularly engage in litterpicking activities on our own account or in partnership with groups such as Town Cllr. June Cully’s Gosport Waterways Group or the 5th Gosport Sea Scout Group. Our most recent cleanup was of Haslar Lake at its shoreline with Walpole Park. We filled up a large number of sacks of rubbish filled with an assortment of flotsam and jetsam, in addition to extricating six supermarket trolleys, eight tyres, a vacuum cleaner, a mattress and a pushchair out of the lake. This was a great example of local groups, and especially young people, working together to improve the environment. Please join us on Saturday 7th December at 9.30am outside Citizens’ Advice Bureau behind the Search Museum, for a cleanup of the Clarence Road and White Lion Walk area.
The Give, Gain and Grow Volunteers, funded by the Big Lottery and supported by Gosport Voluntary Action, are adults from Gosport and Fareham with mental health issues or a disability who support each other in carrying out volunteering tasks in the community in order to build confidence and self-esteem. For further information contact Sue Greene on 07910 875079 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
John Jeffs (Town Ward, Gosport)
I was walking along near the other sailing club, before The Shack. I came across a lady picking up litter from the narrow bit of wasteland between the beach pathway and the back road. Of course I stopped to chat with her. She said she cycles along there and every so often she can’t stand the litter anymore and clears it up. She had a large sack almost overflowing and pointed out that most were take-aways ! She said I was the first person that had stopped to speak to her. When I explained what we do, and where, she was so delighted, bless her, that she said hearing that she was not alone had inspired her.
Linda Monk (Fareham)
As the title suggests, we are a dedicated band of volunteers that take charge of keeping our local roads clean and litter free. I look after the park and playground in Cherque Farm, Megson Drive and other nearby roads, including lanes near the Golf Club .
Although I acknowledge that the problem will not be cured overnight, it gives me immense satisfaction to see clean roads and pavements - I think clean roads ought to be imprinted in our national pride and should be encouraged! Unfortunately some individuals think that litter thrown on the ground automatically transfers responsibility onto someone else – even though a bin might only be a short distance away! I just wish that our country could be as clean as other countries in Europe and beyond.
David Ede (Lee-on-the-Solent)
I first volunteered to clean up my street, Mayfield Mews (the back alley or 10 foot way between Studland Road and Russell Road) a couple of years ago. It is cleaned when needed on a fairly regular basis. The worst times are when school is out when cans and take away packages from Subway, the chip shop(s) and the Co-Op are dropped at finished drinking/eating distance. Dog mess on a small scale is still noticeable. This is from a very small minority of dog owners. I am unsure who is to blame as culprits are never seen. Someone occasionally picks dog mess up, bags it and then throws it into the bushes or back on the ground. I find this behaviour very perplexing!
Alan Petrie (Lee-on-the-Solent)
I was asked to organise a Litter Pick and was surprised how easily I could get in contact with the right local government department (though my local councillor) and how readily they agreed to bring litter picking equipment to us exactly when we wanted it. I hate seeing rubbish in the streets and across the countryside and got a huge amount of satisfaction from clearing the public footpath behind my house. A couple of friends joined us – sadly not as many as I had hoped but it did not take us long to tidy the path. It was good to get the children involved and reinforce the message that we should take pride in our surroundings.
Jane Morton (Colchester)
About once a week I take an empty carrier bag with me and, on the way home from buying my newspaper, I pick up rubbish.
Janet Tyler (East Bergholt, Suffolk)
I went litter picking down a public footpath with my family and some friends. There was a lot of litter on the ground and stuck in the bushes – some of it looked like it had been there years! We had picking sticks and managed to fill lots of black bags and completely clear the path. I really enjoyed helping to make the path clean and tidy and I know what we did was good for the environment including the animals that live there.
The estate requested the council to put an additional litter bin in at an area of particularly bad littering, which they did. At least now I don’t have to take other peoples rubbish home and can put it in this new bin as the residents and users of the Co-op and other shops on Rowner road seem unable to carry out this simple action.
Outside the front of the row of shops the Co-op has what it appears to be their own bin which is regularly overflowing but the two council bins, strategically placed close by, are often empty.
Outside the back door of the Co-op, where the staff have their smoke breaks, there is an unpleasant pile of cigarette butts which I will not pick up.
I pick up around the whole area when I am passing.
Liz Allan, Rowner, Gosport
My name is Barbara Cass and I live in Western Way in Alverstoke. Our house is at the Gomer Lane end of the street. I litter pick along the first part of Western Way and up and down Gomer Lane by Bay House School. It is a thankless task as of course I can do it one day and litter is back again the next day. I do intend to pick along Browndown Road as this is used by Bay House pupils too and there is a lot of litter dropped. I also help the Friends of Stokes Bay do their beach clean periodically.
I am in touch with the relevant member of staff at Bay House School regarding litter but looking inside their school grounds it is a huge problem inside let alone outside !
Barbara Cass, Gomer, Gosport
I enjoy taking my two sons aged seven and five years to pick up litter, especially the beach cleans. It is rewarding being outside, enjoying our beautiful natural environment, whilst knowing that our efforts are helping to keep it that way. It is important to teach my sons the harm that litter can do to our marine life but also that it is unsightly. We turn it into a game, seeing who can collect the most amount of rubbish, and once the bag is full the boys are free to enjoy playing on their now clean beach!