THE GREAT BRITISH SPRING CLEAN
Our work day on 4th March became the Great British Spring Clean for the Friends of Three Cornered Copse, and our numbers were swelled to a total of 30 volunteers, including seven children, and two small dogs, who swarmed over the hedges and pathways of the woods, dragging out paper wrappers, bottles and cans, batteries, clothing, and all sorts of indescribable objects, to fill some 35 bags.
It was a simply wonderful turnout from the community to clear away the debris that had accumulated over the winter, to allow the plants and animals to grow through spring, unencumbered by the human pollutants that we have left.
Our thanks go to those who turned out that morning, and also to Garry our ranger, who arranged the tools, bags and the branded vests we wore.
Our small event was part of a nationwide activity that weekend, backed by Keep Britain Tidy, Country Life and others, stimulated by last year's "Clean for the Queen" event. There were several campaigns across Brighton and Hove, and hundreds across the country, whose purpose was not only to collect the rubbish, but also to spread awareness about the growing problems of litter in our parks, beaches and public spaces.
A particular problem of a certain type of litter in the copse was mentioned in Parliament recently, by MP Anne Main, who made a speech about the practice of hanging plastic poo-filled bags from trees in the countryside.
Those of us who participated in the clean on March 4th can testify that in certain areas of the copse this is a special problem. The safest thing to deal with dog faeces in the copse, or anywhere, for that matter, is to bag it up and dispose of it in one of the dog-bins available. The worst thing is to keep it in the plastic bag, and fail to dispose of it. Anne Main was suggesting that, instead, we flick it into the undergrowth, which is the next best thing.
Thankfully most of the dog walkers in the copse do the right thing, but it only takes one or two to decide that decorating the shrubs with plastic bags is the easier thing to do. Thanks to DNA testing, each dog-poo can be traced back to the owners. Well nearly. We're a few years away from that, but also from the time that a Great British Spring Clean proves completely redundant. We live in hope!
Have a happy Easter.