The Stanwix Big Tidy Comes to Town Again
Saturday 2nd of March in Stanwix saw a motley collection of families, Scouts, individuals, a mayor (who seemed happy enough to get his chain dirty) and a gang of local councillors trying to get the village de-littered. For what is reputed to be the civilised bit of town 😉 there was one hell of a mess to clear up. Once again the 13th Carlisle Scouts turned out in force. These were the special forces of the Tidy Up squad. Ferreting about in corners unseen by the council’s street cleaners, they turned up and tidied away an unbelievable variety of odds, ends and artifacts that people had dumped, lost, or simply forgotten about.
The variety of rubbish that was unearthed from Stanwix’ hedges, back lanes and footpaths ranged from the expected crisp packets, and plastic bottles to rejected flower pots, and discarded ornaments.
Dirty Dog Owners of Stanwix – the Ignorant Minority
Perhaps the worst aspect of the clean up this time round, was the amount of dog muck. For a brief period, I had begun to believe that dog owners were starting to get the message: i.e. clean up after your hounds! And it’s true there is less dog mess lying naked in brown piles on paths! However, we found a great example of the ignorant and moronic attitude of a probably small minority. Piles of dog poo, neatly trussed up in doggy bags, and then thrown under hedges, or for added idiot factor… hung up in the branches of a hedge or bush.
It’s not just a Stanwix issue. It’s the same story all over Carlisle. Some people don’t deserve dogs – or oxygen! Excuse the rant but the “thought” process that goes into such a lazy and irresponsible attitude simply bamboozles me. Clearly saving a few yards walk is more important than taking care of the place you live and the well being of local kids! Time to “grass” the dirty end of dog ownership up!
Once my disgust with dirty dog owners had died down, it was refreshing to see how enthusiastically the youngsters and oldsters alike got stuck into the clean up. Whether it was young “Ryan”(?) showing the mayor the ropes with a litter picker or the folks from the Friends of Rickerby Park getting in on the act down by the river. My little gang of four during the morning shift showed immense dedication trying to clear the side of Etterby Street of cigarette butts.
Community Support For the Great Stanwix Tidy Up
All in all, the Great Stanwix Tidy Up; which again was organised by local councillor Paul Nedved and Supported by: Scouts, Carlisle City Council, Friends of Rickerby Park, Stanwix Community Association and several families and individuals from the local community; was a great success. There were great piles of rubbish bags lying around outside the Stanwix Community Centre waiting for collection and others dotted around the area beside bins which highlighted what a wasteful messy bunch we people actually are!
What Makes Community Clear Ups so Important, From Carlisle to California and Beyond
Almost as a footnote to this very brief report, I’ve included a short video that shows how insidious the whole litter problem actually is. Imagine the most remote piece of land in the Pacific Ocean. Imagine the sight of albatrosses gathered to breed. Look closely and see the distress of these birds.
A huge proportion of these ocean going birds; adults and chicks alike, are simply dying in agony, gorged to bursting point on slivers and fragments of plastic and other materials that they have mistaken for fish as they have hunted in mid Pacific. That ocean wilderness has been turned into what has been termed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In fact, in the Pacific Gyre as it is more correctly known, plastic outweighs plankton by a factor of 6 to 1… utterly unbelievable! Plastic trash is floating on the surface, hovering in the near surface waters and looking for all the world like the shapes of fish. How would an albatross know that there’s nothing nutritious about those particular “fish”?
Though there won’t be much Stanwix trash in the Pacific Garbage Patch, our waste is finding its way into the air, into the rivers and from there into the sea. Pictures from the deeps of all the oceans of the world are showing the pernicious encroachment of our leftover disposable packaging into the remotest parts of the world.
For that reason alone, the Great Stanwix Tidy Up has been a worthwhile exercise. Well done Paul Nedved for organising this biennial event and to everybody who supported it. It doesn’t just make a patch of the city a bit prettier to look at, it really does make a tiny inroad to the damage we are causing our planet’s ecosysystems.