Where’s Our National Pride?


I haven’t done this before. That is, I haven’t used my blog to vent frustrations. I care about the environment. I care about our wildlife. And I care about our country. England has a climate to be envied, flora and fauna that’s unique to us and threatened. We have species going extinct and others under massive decline. It’s all over the TV, it’s all over the net yet so many of us fail to act.

Rubbish! That’s what’s bugging me. Rubbish thrown out of car windows, wrappers dropped wherever folk are, regardless of provided bins, people’s private property or any regard for the countryside. When I was little, being taken out to the countryside on a Sunday for a picnic was a regular treat, and I clearly remember those trips. I loved looking at the hedgerows and fields full of cattle, sheep, birds and other animals. I was the kid with her bum sticking out of the hedgerow, intently watching a spider or woodlouse or field mouse.

Now I sadly look out of the window on trips to see piles of rubbish. Bin liners, carrier bags, crisp packets, beer cans, bottles, plastic strapping, oil drums. You name it, I’ve spotted it somewhere on a verge. Driving down any dual carriageway or motorway is a horrid sight and illustrates our contempt for our outdoor landscape.

What made me write about it today? The 80+ bits of plastic and other rubbish I found when tidying up my new front garden and clearing away the winter leaves etc. All inside half an hour. I’ll spare you photos of rubbish except for one photo, which I’ll explain later. No need for more. Just look out of your window, or windscreen next time you go out.

So come on, folk. Put that rubbish in a bin, take it home with you, put it in a pocket until you find a bin. And how about a radical idea? Pick up rubbish when you see it. The council won’t do it for you. They don’t have the resources. Anyway, would you rather the housing problem was addressed, or elderly people taken care of etc or all their money  spent on cleaning up other people’s sheer laziness?

When I walk on the field behind my home I pick up bottles and cans etc and put them in my recycling. The ponies that graze there then won’t be harmed by it, nor will the other wildlife. And the place is more beautiful without ‘Stella’ twinkling in the grass or ‘Walkers’ blowing about. On the plus side, I found a large water container that will help drip feed my tomatoes this season for free!

Last summer on holiday, I was disgusted to see a lot of rubbish on a small Cornish beach packed with tourists. They watched in amazement as I went round picking it out of the rock pools. That’s the one picture. It doesn’t look as good as the rock pools, does it? And the animals that live on that beach can easily be killed by this plastic dross. Of course, I was there with my camera. So I spotted this stuff more readily than others. I collected two carrier bags full in less than half an hour, walked back up the beach to the bins provided and deposited the lot. To my surprise, others then did the same, and I heard one set of parents making their kids pick up what they’d dropped. I like to think I pricked a few consciences. Have I pricked yours? Can you persuade others that rubbish is rubbish and shouldn’t be part of our landscape? Can you set a good example? Don’t we deserve a clean, gorgeous environment? Doesn’t our wildlife deserve a break?

beach rubbish

Beach rubbish

seaweed

seaweed

Cornish-beach-rubbish

Cornish-beach-rubbish

Take a closer look at the last photograph. If you click into it you can enlarge it. In the foreground you can see white plastic strapping wound in the seaweed. It shouldn’t be there and will harm the beach’s rightful inhabitants. THINK before you drop it.

TAKE PRIDE in our countryside.  Preserve what we have, don’t destroy it. Please. Then spread the word. Share this blog. Thanks!

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6 responses to “Where’s Our National Pride?

  1. Great post! I despise litter, it drives me crazy. There’s no need for it – even if there isn’t a bin nearby, why can’t people just stuff the rubbish in their bag or pocket until there’s a bin, or they get home?!

    Even worse is the people that throw it out of cars! They haven’t even got the excuse that they have to carry it. Leave it on the car seat, or in the footwell – UNTIL YOU GET HOME! The more rubbish that is on the streets, beaches, gardens, etc, the more people get into the mindset “Oh well, there’s rubbish there already, what difference will one more Coke can/crisp packet/sweet wrapper make.”

    It’s disgusting and ugly, and ruins the beauty of our country. Unfortunately, people like us that actually *care* are in the minority. I just hope your post can change a few attitudes, or at least make people think.

    • Thanks Lucy. That’s my hope – That people will read, absorb and act for change. It might seem like a trivial issue to a lot of people, but having basic pride in our environment is crucial to care for the environment, neccessary to prevent harm to wildlife and an important marker for future generations. Attitudes need to change before we end up burying our landscape under rubbish.

  2. This is one of my pet hates too -The British countryside is something precious to be cared for. (Although towns suffer just as much but it’s not as detrimental to the local wildlife) I live in a small village in England althogh I was born and bred and lived most of my life in Wales. It incences me when people visit the countryside and having admired its beauty think it’s OK to use it as a rubbish tip Once in Wales I watched in horror and amazement as someone got out of their car and left a lartge plastic bag of rubbish in the hedgerow before driving off at speed. Unfortunately I was too far away to do anything except shake my first at them.

    I have a couple of horses (sadly I don’t have a field behind my house and have to travel twelve miles to them) and am constantly on the lookout for bottles and plastic bags thrown over the hedge, although thankfully that doesn’t happen too often, but both items can be lethal to horses and cows.

    Good for you for picking up other people’s rubbish, I’ll try to follow your example. There’s a lane behind our house used as a short cut by schoolchildren and it’s always littered with drinks cans and sweet papers . Not nice to look at, or for the horse riders that also use the lane.

    Surely it’s no hardship to just stick a wrapper in ones pocket and wait until there’s a handy bin — or until one gets home. And carring an empty bottle isn’t going to kill you – but throwing it down might kill a little creature that thinks it can take shelter in it and gets stuck – or seriously maim or injure a
    cow or horse that treads on it, or swallows it if it’s plastic.

    Thanks for drawing attention to this and letting me rant on one of my favourite subjects (or least favourite, depending how you look at it.)

    • Thanks Hywelalyn. I agree. There’s no excuse whatsover for dropping rubbish, throwing it out of car windows or leaving carrier bags in hedgerows. I wonder what these people would think if we dumped rubbish in their living rooms? I’m sure they’d be the first to complain!

  3. Well done in pointing this out! Its one of my pet hates too and can’t understand why the unemployed can’t be employed by the government to pick up litter from the side of country roads, dual carriageways, beaches, let alone cities and towns! its not difficult is it, to take your rubbish home with you?!

    • Thank you Jackie. If folk can carry a full can or bag, how difficult is it to carry and empty one? I’m so glad other people feel as passionate about this as I do.

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