Thursday, 20 October 2011

Community Spirit

I have a cunning plan and I need your help, but more of that later read on. Yesterday evening (Wed) and again this morning (Thu) I set out with a black bin liner, a lazy hand and a bucket I walked along the tow path picking up rubbish I found in the hedgerow. Also I picked up odd bits of wood and from piles of ash I picked up unburned coal. I collected one bag full of rubbish and two yes 2 buckets full of fuel for my fire, this included about half a bucket of coal.


I am quite pleased that I removed so much rubbish from the towpath/hedgerow, but more pleased that Thursday night I didn’t need to use any fuel that I had paid for and instead kept the boat warm for free.


Now to my cunning plan. For about two years now I have walked around the area of my mooring from the wharf to the pub then on to the road side up  to the traffic lights along the foot path and under Langford Lane bridge back to the wharf I have picked up all the litter I saw about once or twice a month. Often I collected a bin liner full. It kept the area clean.

lazyhandNow I reckon if we all armed ourselves with a lazy hand which can be bought from ARGOS for only £9.99 then when we arrived at a new mooring, be it in a town or in the country, we could all take the time to a) forage for fuel and b) pick up the litter that others wantonly leave behind then we will be warn in our boats and the towpath will be so much cleaner. If you only did 100 yards it would make a difference, a big difference.

I would suggest clearing up doggy doo but that might be a bit too much to ask, but if you feel you can do  that then the local council will provide bags FOC or TESCO basic nappy sacks are only 9p per 100.

I would like to think that a good many of you would climb on board with this and even encourage your friends to join in. OK OK I know you are thinking ’it is not my job’ well no you are probably right, however BW do not have the resources to do it and the C&RT will defiantly not. So logically if we want to see our canals cleaner it really is up to us to sort this out.

So who will join in? You know you might as well say yes or I will nag everyone for months and I am so good at carrying on don’t you know. Photographs of participants and their haul can be sent here and I will post them.


The Grumpy Porter said...

That's a very good idea and would not take much effort by boaters, why don't you post it on the Waterscape website, they could do with some positive stuff on there.

Mike Muir, operator of Garnet's slowest Triumph, 1956 TRW said...

Excellent thought, sir! As I child was always taught to take it home or "find a bin to put it in", this has obviously gone by the wayside (joke!) over there as well as here in Canada.

Brian said...

We have done the doggy do between the marina entrance and bottom lock several times, as I dog owner I feel it puts me on the "right side" if I happen to miss one that our dog does on the towing path.

bert the gnome said...

I already do,when i'm out wandering the towpaths i've always got a binbag with me

Maffi said...

Well done Bert thank you for your help, have a gold star. (I dont actually have any gold stars coz I am a poor writer but the thought is there.)

Jill and Graham said...

Great Idea Maffi, will it take off? I certainly hope so but then there is the problem of disposing of the full bags and if everyone did it the BW Refuse sites would be full to overflowing and we all know that these are already rat infested areas because they are not cleared often enough. Keep the thoughts comming.

Maffi said...

I understand what you say. That could already be a problem here as I have already put 4 1/2 bin liners full of towpath rubbish in the skip and with the bag load of tow path rubbish that Chas and Anne from nb Moore2life put in as well the skips are now just about full.

Perhaps what is needed is skips locked with BW padlocks so local householders don't dump their rubbish in them. I know in Thrupp the locals used to dump their rubbish in the five bins at the water point.

In answer to your first question "Will it take off?" its up to us to make it take off. Spread the word and encourage each other. How many people have you told this weekend?

Bert the Gnome doesn’t have a boat, yet he does it.

Chas and Anne were telling me on one occasion they removed 6 bags of rubbish from one stretch of towpath. If the towpath is untidy then people won’t care. "One more bit of rubbish won’t make a difference," but if the towpath is clear one would hope that would make people feel that they don't want to drop their litter.

There are boaters who dump trash in the hedgerows and who hasn't emptied their ash pan on the side, this is rubbish too! Apart from the risk of fire there are bald spots all over the canal system detracting from the overall appearance of the area.

It's all about education and encouragement. Making sure everyone knows it the wrong thing to do.

It’s our choice we can make this happen!