Group urge visitors not to leave national park strewn with litter

Don’t let litter choke the Lake District: Great British September Clean campaigners urge visitors not to leave national park strewn with rubbish… as shocking image shows ugly heap of waste by Windermere

  • Shocking images reveal picturesque areas of the Lake District are being strewn with rubbish from litterbugs
  • Lake District National Park Authority is now calling volunteers top sign up to Great British September Clean
  • It is organised by Keep Britain Tidy and backed by the Daily Mail and runs from September 11 to September 27

It’s a classic Lakeland scene – the sun setting behind the distant fells, casting its reflection in the still waters.

Only this time it has been blighted by the ugly heap of litter in the foreground.

It’s a picture that in recent days has been repeated all over the treasured landscape of the Lake District.

The national park has been inundated with visitors as lockdown has eased and many of them have simply left their rubbish behind – bottles, wrappers and bags dumped in heaps in some of the area’s most popular spots.

The Lake District National Park Authority is now calling on volunteers to sign up to the Great British September Clean to make the area beautiful once again.

It’s a classic scene in the Lake District – the sun setting behind the distant fells, casting its reflection in the still waters. Only this time it has been blighted by the ugly heap of litter in the foreground (pictured)

The national park has been inundated with visitors as lockdown has eased and many of them have simply left their rubbish behind – bottles, wrappers and bags dumped in heaps in some of the area’s most popular spots

The Lake District National Park Authority is now calling on volunteers to sign up to the Great British September Clean to make the area beautiful once again. Pictured: Rubbish piled up next to a bin in the Lake District

It is encouraging those who live in the area to sign up to the nationwide litter pick campaign, organised by Keep Britain Tidy and backed by the Daily Mail, which will run from September 11 to September 27.

It was originally planned for March, as the Great British Spring Clean, but had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The National Park Authority says it is are ‘saddened’ by the behaviour of some visitors over recent months.

One picture shows chocolate wrappers, drink cans and glass bottles piled at Millerground overlooking Windermere. Another taken at Rydal Water shows bin bags filled with discarded rubbish which had been collected by litter pickers.

Locals have taken to creating signs out of cardboard which read: ‘Please take your rubbish home’.

Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, said: ‘Whilst the vast majority of people visit the Lake District respectfully, I’m saddened by the behaviour of some in recent times.


The Lake District National Park Authority says it is are ‘saddened’ by the behaviour of some visitors over recent months. Locals have taken to creating signs out of cardboard which read: ‘Please take your rubbish home’.

One picture shows chocolate wrappers, drink cans and glass bottles piled at Millerground overlooking Windermere. Another taken at Rydal Water shows bin bags filled with discarded rubbish which had been collected by litter pickers. Pictured: Rubbish left at Monk Coniston

Campaigners in the Lake District have launched a clean-up group to tackle the waste left by visitors. Pictured: Rubbish stacked up by bins in Ambleside, Waterhead

‘Leaving litter, cutting down trees and blocking gates affects real people, including volunteers, who selflessly give their time to help look after this special place.

‘So I’m urging people to … take all your litter away with you, stick to social distancing and show the respect and love for the Lake District that it deserves.

‘I’m pleased to hear that this year’s Spring Clean, organised by Keep Britain Tidy, has been rescheduled for September and I know many people in the Lake District will register to help out.’

Campaigners in the Lake District have launched a clean-up group to tackle the waste left by visitors.

Nicola Bolton and her friend Josh Adams set up the Lakes Plastic Collective after they noticed the rise in rubbish since lockdown eased. Pictured: Rubbish, including a broken tent, is left at Helvellyn Mountain


Miss Bolton, 32, who lives in Windermere, said: ‘We’ve seen an increase in the amount of people and more people means more litter. It’s quite possibly the people who would usually be abroad or at festivals – and it’s been left in that kind of a state – like a mini Glastonbury.’ Pictured left: Rubbish left at Helvellyn Mountain. Pictured right: Rubbish left at Ullswater

Miss Bolton is a full-time manager of two shoe shops, but spends her days off and spare time litter picking. ‘It’s pretty full-on, but somebody has to do it,’ she said. Pictured: Rubbish collected by litter-pickers at Ambleside, Windermere

Nicola Bolton and her friend Josh Adams set up the Lakes Plastic Collective after they noticed the rise in rubbish since lockdown eased.

Miss Bolton, 32, who lives in Windermere, said: ‘We’ve seen an increase in the amount of people and more people means more litter. It’s quite possibly the people who would usually be abroad or at festivals – and it’s been left in that kind of a state – like a mini Glastonbury.

‘We’ve been finding litter all over the park, though mainly around all the lakes.

‘Now that camping is allowed as well, we’ve found some people have left everything, including the tent and the sleeping bags.’

Miss Bolton is a full-time manager of two shoe shops, but spends her days off and spare time litter picking. ‘It’s pretty full-on, but somebody has to do it,’ she said.

To take part in the Great British September Clean, visit: keepbritaintidy.org/ gbseptemberclean

HOW YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CAN HELP IN THE GREAT BRITISH SEPTEMBER CLEAN THIS YEAR

Q&A by Xantha Leatham 

What is the Great British September Clean?

The Great British September Clean is, in fact, the postponed Great British Spring Clean, which had to be mothballed in March when the country went into lockdown.

How can I get involved?

Anyone who wants to take part can do so by registering via the Keep Britain Tidy website at keepbritaintidy.org

When is it taking place?

The campaign will run from September 11 to 27 but you can pledge to start now if you want.

What can I do?

You can pledge to litter-pick either by yourself or with those you live with. Whether you do five minutes or five hours, every individual can make a difference.

You can also organise a small clean-up for you and up to five other people and register it on the website. 

You will be able to access resources, including a detailed ‘how to’ guide that will explain how to do a clean-up safely and what to do with the rubbish you collect.

Is it safe to do a litter-pick currently?

Yes, but you must be careful. If you are going to pick up litter, you must be wearing gloves – not PPE-type gloves but more substantial, gardening-type gloves – and use a litter-picker. 

Do not touch the litter you collect and make a special effort not to touch your face while litter-picking. 

If you are litter-picking alone and have only a small amount of rubbish, just pop that in your own household bin. 

You could separate out plastic bottles and aluminium cans into your recycling bin but, again, use your litter-picker.

If you find you have too much rubbish, you will be able to find details of contacts at your local council – if they are involved with the campaign – on the Keep Britain Tidy website. They will tell you where to leave the rubbish you’ve picked up for collection.

How should I do a litter-pick with people I don’t live with?

You should not litter-pick with more than five other people, in line with the latest Government guidelines at time of going to press, and you must observe social distancing — a good guide is to stay a litter-picker length away from each other. 

All the health and safety information you need is available on the Keep Britain Tidy website at keepbritaintidy.org when you register. Everyone taking part must be wearing gardening-type gloves and must use a litter-picker and wash their hands – and the equipment – thoroughly afterwards. 

Contact your council beforehand to tell them what you’re doing and where, and to arrange for the rubbish you pick up to be collected. 

You will find details for councils who are supporting the campaign on the website. 

If you live in Wales or Scotland, please follow the appropriate guidance.

How can I get equipment?

All you need to start litter-picking is some gardening-type gloves, a litter-picker and a rubbish bag. A lot of local authorities are supporting the Great British September Clean and their details are on the website when you register. They may be able to lend you equipment. 

If you just want to do something yourself, you can also get affordable litter-pickers from various online retailers.

Are there any clean-up events I can go to?

No, with the restrictions currently in place, there will not be any public events that individuals can join, so if you want to ‘do your bit’ please pledge via the website, then you can be part of the pick and stay safe as well. 

Or you could simply organise something with your friends and neighbours and register on the website.

Will there still be a Great Big School Clean?

No, but schools who want to and are able to take part in the Great British September Clean will be able to do so. They can register via the Keep Britain Tidy website, keepbritaintidy.org

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