As visitors have returned to Cumbria post-lockdown, reports of a minority of people ‘trashing’ the countryside have caused concern amongst all who love the spectacular landscapes. So the Lake District National Park Authority is joining forces with conservation charity, Friends of the Lake District to host The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th August.
Ruth Kirk, Landscape Engagement Officer for Friends, said: “The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick was due to take place in March but had to be postponed as lockdown came into effect. As the countryside has opened up, many people have been benefitting from the positive effects of our spectacular Cumbrian landscapes on their mental and physical health. And that’s great.
“Sadly, as we are all too aware, a minority of people have been, what can only be described as ‘trashing’ our much-loved environment. The ‘aftermath’ pictures have been truly shocking and we are bewildered as to the reasons why people would do this.
“There’s no quick and easy solution but while we work on ways to educate and communicate more widely and effectively to change behaviours, there is something that we CAN do right away; and we know many of you are itching to volunteer to help. And that’s to get out there, together, to clean up our county.
“We’re delighted to be teaming up with the Lake District National Park, who have done a fantastic job with their messaging and people on the ground to help visitors enjoy the national park responsibly.”
Chris Wingrove, Volunteer Team Leader with the Lake District National Park added, “We are delighted to support The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick this year. As the country has emerged from lockdown we’ve been inundated with offers of help in dealing with the littering problem from people from near and far. Litter picking forms an important part of our year-round volunteering programme, but there’s sadly always more to do – these two days will make a massive impact in our battle to keep the Lake District clean, safe and tidy.”
Anyone can get involved, whatever age or level of fitness or ability. Full details of how to volunteer including Covid-19 safety information can be found at www.thegreatcumbrianlitterpick.org.uk.
Whilst education and communication around acting responsibly in the countryside remain key priorities for the long term, Friends of the Lake District and the Lake District National Park Authority hope that the event will be a springboard to bring the people of Cumbria together for a weekend of community action to make a start for a cleaner Lake District and Cumbria.
The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick is sponsored this year by the European Outdoor Conservation Association, Smartwool and HF Holidays.