Litter picking: bringing the community together one piece at a time

How Your Park Bristol and Bath is tackling the litter crisis…by tackling loneliness

By Amber Hill

Parks and green spaces have become more precious than ever over the past three years. People have relied on these spaces to meet their loved ones (bearing in mind social distancing), exercise, and get that much-needed fresh air. Having the chance to get outside and see people, even those that you don’t know, has been a saving grace for many. At a time when loneliness has been rife, it is often the smallest interactions that mean the most.

While this has been beneficial in terms of the popularity and upkeep of these parks, it has had a more concerning knock-on effect. According to Keep Britain Tidy, over 2 million pieces of litter are dropped and promptly forgotten about in the UK every day. Far from being the ideal and pristine green havens from the stress of urban life, our parks are often filled with litter, negatively affecting the delicate ecosystems that call these places home and making the parks less attractive to visitors.

People should know there are active things that they can do to support our parks, rather than just relying on the council to empty the bins

Charlee Bennett, CE0 of Your Park Bristol and Bath

To combat this, an organisation called Your Park Bristol and Bath has collaborated with Wessex Water to set up a litter pick station, based in Bath’s Alice Park. Inspired by similar schemes put into place to tackle the ever-worrying plastic issue on the coast, the station’s ‘Guardians’, the owners of the Alice Park café, encourage people to take just 2 minutes out of their day to make a difference. With litter picking equipment readily available, it is easier than ever to contribute to the clean-up of these somewhat sacred communal areas.

For CEO of the charity, Charlee Bennett, these stations are about more than just the practical effort of litter picking. Instead, it is about building a sense of community amongst park lovers and even those that just want to get involved.

“We know that everybody has a connection to their local green space…we want to foster that sense of belonging and inclusion”.

In our time-pressed and stressful lives, it can be hard to find the time to get out and give back to both nature and each other. Keeping these precious locations free from litter, while also getting to know new people that you otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to meet, is so important.

This is why Charlee urges corporations and people alike to continue to sponsor these schemes and take part when they can, whether it be in the Alice Park station or among many of similar stations dotted around Bristol, Bath and Keynsham.

For more information on why parks matter, click the link here.

For more information on how to get involved, contact info@yourpark.co.uk

Image credit: Felix Mittermeier, Pexels