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Heath Big Local volunteers litter-pick our streets

A litter pick event was the starting point for Heath Big Local's initiative to keep the Heath area tidy, and make it a nicer place to be.

Heath Big Local has been talking to residents of the Heath about what they like and don't like about the Heath area. We've heard a lot about dog fouling and litter, so, we decided to investigate this, and on 30th November 2013, members of the HBL Partnership and some Heath residents braved the cold and went on a highly successful litter pick and walkabout.

The aim was to take a critical look at some parts of the Heath area - and unsurprisingly, we found that the residents were right. There was an incredible amount of litter and dog poo on our streets - 24 large black bin liners of litter were collected on the day!

There was litter pushed into hedges, rammed in between walls, stuck in the bottom of fences and one particularly disturbing find of a 'rat run' of litter, complete with dead rat.

There's also a lot of dog fouling everywhere in the Heath, particularly on Heath Road, the Cinder Path, the pathway through the Biscuit factory, on all the roads around Tynsel Parkes school.

These routes are walked everyday by our children on their way to school. We even found an instance where, obviously over a period of weeks, someone had indeed picked up their pets poop and put it into a plastic bag, but then they'd just thrown it under a hedge.

Why oh why oh why?

So why are people doing this? Well there are lots of excuses, and these are just a few:


Everybody else does it. Actually, no they don't, if everybody else did do it, we wouldn't be able to walk the streets for litter

It's a already an untidy area, what does it matter?

NO IT ISN'T. The reason that there's litter on our streets is because inconsiderate people leave it there, and it's probably not the people who live there either.

There aren't enough bins.

Well, if you managed to carry it all the way here then surely it wouldn't be hard to carry it home with you?

Dog Fouling

The rain will wash it away.

No, actually it won't. It can take weeks for rain to wash away dog poo.

I didn't have a bag with me.

You remembered the dog, you remembered the lead, please be responsible and remember the bag.

It makes good compost, it'll make the grass grow.

Actually, no. Dog poo isn't a good compost and it won't make the grass grow. The things that do grow in dog poo are parasitic worms and nasty viruses, harmful to humans as well as to other dogs.

Oh, and in case you didn't realise, IT IS ILLEGAL - you can be fined for failing to clear up after your dog.

So, now we know about it what can HBL do?

Actions that we are currently considering are:

  • Speaking to ESBC about more/better bins?
  • Run a sign competition and let the children speak out about this issue whilst also raising their awareness of the issues and educating them.
  • Adopt a street. A resident-run initiative where local residents adopt a street in the Heath area and organize 3-4 litter picks per annum.
  • Monitoring dog walkers - we could try linking up with Neighbourhood Watch to keep an eye on dog-owners who cause fouling, and report them to the police.

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