Tag Archives: Litter picking

Keeping our Little Corner Cleaner

A mornings litter picking with Karen Beresford of Buxton Town Team litter picking group

Plastic bottles, crisp packets, bits of carpet, bathing towels, the plastic wrapping from a pair of swimming trunks, paper and of course drink cans, these were just some of the items of rubbish that we found on a recent litter pick at a local beauty spot.

I had joined Karen Beresford who runs the Buxton Town Team litter picking group, to spend a couple of hours tackling the never ending problem of litter that blights our towns and our countryside.

Though there is something satisfying in picking up litter, it is frustrating to think that people drop their trash and rubbish there in the first place. It is after all a beautiful, peaceful spot. In summer full of wildflowers and bird song.

But it does not seem to matter where you go, you will find discarded rubbish. Even providing bins does not always solve the problem. Whether it’s leaving the waste from a picnic or BBQ, or throwing bottles and plastic from a vehicle, it seems as if some people just don’t care.

Out of sight out of mind, and anyway someone else will pick it up.

We cleared two big sacks of rubbish from the site. So now at least for a little while it is free of discarded plastic and wrappers. And walking there will be a pleasanter experience.

We decide that as there was still time we would tackle a small section of the Tongue lane industrial estate. This was littering on a different scale.

As well as the usual items, there were bits of engine, oil containers, nappies wrapped in plastic bags and half full bottles of liquid. Plastic sheeting lay discarded on a patch of ‘waste ground’, and shreds of plastic bag caught by the wind lay twisted round the stunted bushes.

We could only scratch the surface. There is still much more to be done as you can see from the photos above.

I could not help wondering if this little patch of waste ground could be put to much better use. Planted with fruit trees, perhaps part of Transition Buxton’s urban orchard scheme, and wildflowers to attract bees, butterflies and other insects, and a bench, it could become a little haven of tranquillity,somewhere to sit and have a sandwich, or just to relax from all the hurly burly around you.

One for the Urbitat project perhaps?

Karen is always glad to hear from new
enthusiastic litter pickers and you can contact
her by email stoop.farm@icloud.com

Places and Spaces

Litter Picking Lovers Leap

Man handling the shower base

The name Lovers Leap conjures up romantic and perhaps tragic associations. Once a popular spot with Victorian couples, it is less visited now and it is true that the years have rolled by without anyone paying much attention to the condition of this secluded beauty spot located just outside Buxton.

Even so, members of Buxton Civic Association where stunned by the tide of rubbish they encountered when they surveyed the site earlier this year. Both the gorge itself and the slopes above the western cliff-face were strewn not only with bottles and cans but also bits of car bodywork, dumped kitchen appliances and building materials.

On 1 April, a small team of BCA members began the clean-up of the partially terraced slopes above the western cliffs. BCA Business Development Manager, Simon Fussell asked team leader, Roger Floyd, on site, what the team had found there. He replied that, clearly, for a long while, pedestrians on Dukes Drive and people in passing vehicles had been throwing bottles, cans, fast-food containers and other litter over the boundary wall onto the site. But that was far from the whole story.

“Parking here is awkward and access to the site if you are carrying large or heavy items is difficult”, he continued. “Buxton has an easy-to-reach, convenient-to-use, recycling centre where anyone can dispose of reasonable amounts of any kind of waste. And yet, inexplicably, some people seem to have actually chosen to dump items on this beauty spot rather than at the recycling centre. “For example”, he added, pointing to a curious rectangular object near our feet, “this 60 kg concrete shower base”.

Earlier in the day, two of the team had found three abandoned tents on the site. One was full of old clothes. The other two were fully equipped with cooking gear and bedding. Everything was in an advanced state of decay but clearly, at some time in the not to distant past, more than one person had been living there and for an extended period.

Our team were certain that was an ‘extended period’ because amongst the other detritus were 16 two-litre bottles all filled with a yellow fluid. Alas, hopes that it was a collection of rare vintage French wines were soon dashed when one of the bottles was opened. One of our campers had been collecting his own urine. Why? We shall never know. But he certainly didn’t amass his stockpile overnight.

In the end the bottles were left in the tent where they were found. The tents were then bundled up and left on Dukes Drive with the 25 sacks of litter, the shower base and other debris that the team had gathered from the site. To its great credit, the Borough’s Street Care and Cleaning Service sent a truck immediately to pick it all up, even though it was now late on Friday afternoon.

We expect that another three clean-ups will be necessary to clear the whole site.

Anyone for a glass of Chardonnay?

The fruits of a mornings litter picking at Lover's Leap

Places and Spaces Project

Litter at Lovers Leap

One of the issues that the Places and Spaces project has identified as of particular concern is the volume of rubbish that accumulates in and around some of our most famous beauty spots. Lovers Leap was mentioned at the last committee meeting, and so on a mild and sunny Monday morning, Roger Floyd and Simon Fussell set off to investigate and to see if it was practical and safe to organise some future litter picking activities at this famous landmark.

As can be seen from the photographs there is plenty of litter. In the space of an hour Roger and Simon picked up four sacks from the top of the gorge and from the lay by and path by the river.

There is still lots of rubbish left at the sites. To tackle the problem properly will require a risk assessment and to ensure that anyone helping out is properly equipped. The A6 is busy and very dangerous and there are significant drops from the top of the gorge down to the stream.

We will also be contacting HPBC to request that they remove some of the larger objects.

We plan to hold a litter picking day at Lovers Leap at some point in the New Year, so if you are interested in helping out contact us at;