A glorious day to be out working on the reserve today, unfortunately we were not engaged in the most rewarding of tasks.  One of the less desirable sides of working in the countryside is seeing how some see it not a “Green and Pleasant Land”, but a handy place to get rid of rubbish. This can range from the seemingly endless scatter of coffee cups and beer cans that occur every few metres along the sides of roads across the Forest to the more concerted lorry loads of builders waste. Todays task was to clear just such a load dumped on the reserve by someone evidently does updates to kitchens and bathrooms. Avoiding tip fees no doubt makes the quote cheaper, or maybe just increases profits.


A load of rubbish!

Of course someone has to pay in the end, in this case it took three of us all morning to collect it up and get it to the skip, so we lost 1.5 person days of work on the reserve, plus the cost £300 or so to get it taken away. We have also been “donated” two caravans recently, both dumped in broad daylight and proving very difficult to get taken away.

It is rightly costly to dispose of waste, it takes time and effort to recover the recyclable and properly dispose of the rest and the producer of the waste should pay. Unfortunately when something becomes costly or difficult more ands more people will seek an easier route. Enforcement of anti-dumping laws is difficult and in practice dumpers are rarely caught which encourages the activity.

To me the most worrying thing about our inability to get a grip on this problem is this, most people would never leave rubbish somewhere they cared about, so if the Forest is strewn with litter and wildlife sites are seen as prime fly-tipping sites this tells us something. This is more than indifference, it comes from a culture of casual destruction, the environment is not something we inhabit, it is not where we live. Except, of course, it is.

I am not sure how this issue can be tackled, but that it can seems evident. Some 25 years ago I lived in rural Ireland for a while, very wild, very beautiful and full of rubbish. Much of the countryside seemed to be regarded as worthless space only good for getting rid of unwanted items. Fast forward to today and now you cannot but be struck by the lack of litter and how terrible our countryside looks in comparison. I am not sure how the attitudes were turned around but they certainly seem to have been.

In more a wildlife related vein, the pink-footed goose and Caspian gull were seen on Ibsley Water again today and there were 2 drake pintail there when I opened the Tern hide this morning. The sunshine also brought out a few insects, there was a red admiral near the Centre and Jim reported a common darter dragonfly still hanging on despite the frosts.


5 thoughts on “Skipping

  1. Ok it’s a huge problem with a solution my idea is this there are hundreds of thousands smart phones in the country so offer £1000 reward to pictures of fly tipping that lead to successful convictions the reward comes from the fine

  2. Just maybe, if proper attractive signing was put up on the perimeter or clearly visible in the hardstanding area, worded in such a way as to tell these people that a charitable organisation is being penalised because of the tippers actions, just maybe they will take notice and find somewhere else. All the while your organisation sorts it, the authorities are not having to, they too are to blame….
    I agree with your views of litter as a whole. The education of children who then become adults is not only the responsibility of the schools but of their parents, many of whom these days do not teach their charges social conscience, the law, respect for others…..sad from Boscombe. But on the positive side…I always believe in leading by example and maybe the tide will turn again 🙂

  3. I dont know if you receive this as email but we might be able to help in disposing of the caravans.  Please email if you receive this.  Mo Hall 

  4. Not having visited the Centre for a couple of months, I was grieved to hear of all the rubbish you have had to clear etc. I and my husband just love to come for the day always hoping to photograph an unusual visitor to the lakes. I always meant to show you the pair of nightingales that I managed to photograph earlier in the year. A bit fuzzy as when they were still on the branch of a tree I was too busy looking at them and not very quick with the camera. They sang as they flew. I identified them once I got home and looked them up. so, we never know what unexpected wildlife we may see on any visit to you. Looking forward to coming again soon. miss our visits terribly.

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