Plea for walkers to take their rubbish and stop littering Hemel's countryside

The Box Moor Trust, who are responsible for managing the land, is also calling on the public to take their rubbish home with them

Friday, 19th February 2021, 9:55 am

A woman has issued a plea reminding walkers to take their rubbish with them and stop littering Hemel Hempstead's countryside after walking by the canal on Sunday.

She contacted The Gazette after witnessing a man discarding a coffee cup, contributing to the pile of rubbish on the ground when she was walking along the towpath by the canal.

She said: "It was just past the cottage on the lock, there was a pile of rubbish that had accumulated near a bench.

Rubbish left near the canal

"I saw a young couple with their children, who were probably around primary school age, the woman had a coffee cup, and when the man saw the pile of rubbish, he took her cup and added it to the pile.

"I was shocked that he had done that and also in front of his children.

"Schools do a lot to encourage children to clean up litter and look after the environment and then something like this happens.

"Is it really that hard to take your rubbish with you, either to a bin or back home with you.

Plea for walkers to take their rubbish and stop littering Hemel's countryside

"The litter has got worse during the pandemic as people are out walking more regularly now.

"About ten minutes down the path I saw an elderly couple who were picking up litter, it was such a contrast.

"I want to praise that couple for what they were doing, and highlight the fact that they shouldn't have to be doing that.

"I want to remind people to take their rubbish home with them, it's not fair. You are ruining the beautiful countryside, and why are other people, like this couple, having to clean up after you.

"I went back later and cleared up the litter that I saw by the bench and contacted Box Moor Trust, who I believe went down and cleared up the rest."

The Box Moor Trust is a charitable trust responsible for the management of nearly 500 acres of land within Hemel Hempstead and Bovingdon, and they look after the land where the woman saw the pile of rubbish by the canal.

Peter Ablett, chair of estate committee at Box Moor Trust, said: "The description of some people behaving irresponsibly and others doing quite the opposite, doing their bit, setting an encouraging example, is symptomatic of what we see daily everywhere on the Trust's Land. Year in, year out.

"Our resources are stretched and people discarding their litter with no thought of what they are doing to the environment that we all share, not only puts up the cost of keeping what the vast majority of local residents regard as a precious asset, but takes the edge off everyone's efforts to look after our mental well-being.

"The very people who litter spaces in which they are free to roam and relax are contributing to robbing those of us who care of just what they are out enjoying. We simply can't provide and cope with the cost of having bins everywhere, any more than the council can.

"When we have our volunteers out and about again, one of my ambitions is that we should try to do more in encouraging them to take up the role of ambassadors on our estate to get caring messages out there."