The War on Litter – Gomshall, Surrey
What years of littering looks like…
Litter is a problem all over the UK, regardless of town, county or affluence. It is unreasonable to expect our local councils to litter pick every hedgerow and every street in the UK. At some point we have to take some level of responsibility for causing the problem in the first place.
It takes just two hours and a small number of people to clean up a small area of a village or housing estate, but the impact on the local community is huge.
Gomshall is a tiny village between Guildford and Dorking in Surrey. The A25 runs through the village and the volume of traffic adds to the litter problem, fly tipping and community littering is responsible for 90% of the litter.
The River Tillingbourne also runs through the village and eventually makes it’s way to the Thames and litter from our community could be making it’s way to the ocean.
We decided it was about time we took responsibility, so we organised a community litter collection.
Getting volunteers was surprisingly easy. As it turns out, lots of people in the community are annoyed by the sight of litter and are only too happy to help clean up!
We put up posters, circulated a post on local Facebook pages (buy and sell, mother and parenting groups etc.) and advertised in the local Parish magazine. With 1 week to go, we had 25 volunteers.
The council provided all the equipment we needed, bags, litter pickers, gloves and high-vis vests and they collected everything from a central collection point the following week.
Sunday 25th March 2018
It is important to note that the collection should have taken place on 11th March, but we were snowed off. Some of the previous 25 were unable to make the revised date, so we had 12 volunteers on this day. Twelve may not sound like very many, but just look at what everyone collected!
The truth is worse than these pictures, because this is perhaps only two thirds of what was collected. On the way around the village, we managed to fill all of the litter bins too.
We also cleaned the village signs and planted flowers around the village which were kindly donated by Homebase in Godalming.
If you are bothered by the amount of litter you see in your home town, you can help too. If you are feeling inspired to do something about it, get in touch.