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For the eighth year, Keep Britain Tidy is promoting the Great British Spring Clean

- the nation's biggest mass-action environmental campaign.

It is encouraging individuals, groups, schools and societies to commit this spring to picking a bag of litter.

Of course, this isn't news to us locally. For over two years now Drayton and Curry Rivel litter teams, along with many other residents, have been collecting litter along our parish highways and around our two villages.

Most of the litter collected consists of coke, lager and a varying amount of other drink cans, glass and plastic bottles. The pickers collect crisp packets, coffee cups, sandwich cells and sweet wrappers. McDonalds wrappers feature, despite the nearest drive thru being more than 10 miles away. What do you do guys – store them in your car until you drive through Curry Rivel and then chuck 'em out?

Unsurprisingly there are cigarette butts and discarded packs, plus the almost obligatory full poo bags. Just who is it that still doesn't know of the harm dog faeces (and the bags) can cause to livestock?

There can be no denying that there is also litter from our domestic waste bins which, by the way, you can report. If you see litter falling from a refuse truck go to the Somerset Waste Partnership website. You will need to report the registration number and the location of the offending vehicle but don't forget some things may change with the advent of the new Somerset County Council on 1st April.

And let's not even start (again) on tipping of tyres, garden waste and rubble from home improvements. Much of which could be recycled if disposed of properly.

Many people today are concerned about the effects of global warming – the survival of our wildlife, clean beaches, clean rivers, the use of chemicals – the list goes on. And yet think nothing of dropping a fag packet.

We are struggling to deal with these issues, and there is no easy fix for our world. Each one of us is responsible for our actions. It is so easy to criticise, and yet we are all guilty, quite often just absent-mindedly, of leaving our mark – the paper cup you forgot you'd tucked under the seat in the cinema that someone else has to deal with. That's litter. Meaning no harm or with no ill intent, just not thinking that if we drop something, or kick it into the undergrowth, it's a problem left behind for someone else to pick up. That's litter.

So please, if you throw stuff down or out of your vehicle, leave that full dog poo bag in the hedge, fly tip or dump your garden waste, remember it costs money for our councils to clean it up. Approximately £500 million nationwide according to Keep Britain Tidy. This money could be used for other projects like the food bank, care in the community, NHS, and even help reduce council tax.

Maybe by changing our attitudes we will leave this world in a fit state for our children, grandchildren and for future generations to come. And yes, it is undoubtedly the case that the majority of people reading this will not recognise themselves, or anyone they know, as a litterer. But it obviously comes from somewhere.  How do we get the message across to those who would harm our environment?  

That's a big question, and of course if you have any thoughts Curry Rivel Online would like to hear them – email

Ideally we wouldn't be organising litter picks, we'd be getting through to those who, probably without malice or ill intent, just think it's OK to lob an empty bottle out of the car window.

But in the meantime, Drayton and Curry Rivel litter pickers would be grateful for your help in any small way – just pick up that can some thoughtless individual dropped outside your gate and put it in your recycling.

Or join them over the weekend of 1st to 3rd April when anyone can join in a litter pick, at their own risk. Equipment is available on request by contacting John at

Roll on the day when this doesn't need to happen!

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