2North Hill Parish Newsletter 2012
Keeping our community informed
We regularly inform the local community, local authority officers and Clean Cornwall about the progress of the project. We also try to address concerns voiced by parish residents.
Read our reports to North Hill Parish newsletter 2012
- April 2012
- January 2013
North Hill Parish Litter Free Project – Four Years On
We hope you have noticed the difference!
On March 8th our volunteers, with the help of the Cornwall Council Neighbourhood Services team, we were able to clear the litter from most of the two B roads that cross our parish. The CC team provide a refuse truck that acts as a safety vehicle while we pick the verges, with warning signs placed at each end of the road. This time we had good weather for the pick – last autumn we had to cancel due to poor visibility.
Our team of volunteers continue to clear litter from the parish lanes on a regular basis. Many of you will have seen us out there in our Hi Viz jackets, with waste bags and litter pickers in hand.
We have now completed four full years on the project and have collected 280 litter sacks of rubbish. There has been a small decline in the number of sacks filled each year, but in terms of the number of specific items – such as drinks cans and crisp packets – picked up on the parish lanes we have kept a tally and this has stayed disappointingly constant year on year.
We may not yet be having much of an impact on people littering from vehicles, but we are pleased that the parish usually looks litter free.
As ever thanks to everyone who has supported the project by becoming a partner or by helping to clear litter when it appears – whether in front of your home or when you are out walking – it all helps to keep our parish clean.
Clearing a Fly-Tip
Our Litter-Free project has over forty valued partners within the parish - including farmers and other businesses, community groups and individuals. Clean Cornwall and Cornwall Council are two other essential partnerships supporting our parish group and similar groups across the county.
Recently we followed up concerns about a fly-tip (illegal dumping) on one of our parish roads that required action from the council. We liaised with Richard Bunt, the Envirocrime Enforcement Officer for Cornwall Council. Once he had assessed the site and taken evidence he authorised Cory (the company contracted for waste collection) to clear the fly-tip, which was done a few days later.
Richard is still making enquires so is not able to comment further, but he has contributed this about the role of Envirocrime Officers:
The Community Protection team has 6 Envirocrime Enforcement Officers covering Cornwall. The team is part of the wider Public Health and Protection Service. We investigate Fly-Tipping, Abandoned Vehicles, Nuisance Vehicles, Littering and Accumulations. We carry out targeted litter enforcement patrols across Cornish towns and assist the Dog Welfare Officers in enforcing the countywide Dog Fouling Order.
Cornwall Council takes all reports of fly-tipping seriously and will investigate each alleged fly-tip. Where possible we will trace the businesses or person(s) who were responsible. If we have sufficient evidence we will look to prosecute those responsible.
If you witness a fly-tip please gather as much information as you can to help us with our investigation. For example the time, date and the items your saw being fly-tipped. If a vehicle is being used then the registration, make, colour and any identifiable signage or marks. A brief description of the alleged offender(s); sex, approximate age, height, build and any distinguishing features. Make a note of this information as soon as possible for future reference. Always bear in mind your own personal safety and if you feel unsafe just walk away.
You can report Fly-Tipping online at the councils website at www.cornwall.gov.uk and type “fly-tip” in to the search box, or via the contact centre on 0300 1234 202.
Our new sign
We're trying a new sign with the message 'Please RECYCLE', at places where we often find jettisoned drinks cans.
This photo shows the sign with a small sample of cans recently picked out of the hedgerows between Way Cross and Tremollett.
Five Parishes Action Against Littering
Five neighbouring parishes here on the edge of Bodmin Moor are taking action against littering – a problem that we all see throughout the county. Clean public spaces – parish roads, lanes and greens – are so important for community wellbeing, helping us to appreciate the natural environment, and giving visitors to Cornwall the best possible impression.
The Litter Free Project that started here in North Hill three years ago has now spread to Linkinhorne, St Cleer and Lewannick parishes; groups of volunteers are determined to do something positive about littering. They co-ordinate litter picking, with individuals taking responsibility for particular routes; their hi-viz vests, pickers and bags are supplied by Cornwall Council. The fifth parish is St Ive where a group is now being set up.
But this is not just about clearing litter away; it’s also about preventing littering. Different approaches are used to promote the litter free message. For example, signs are placed at roadsides following a litter pick; reports and photographs are published in the parish newsletters; hands-on work with schools engages with young people, and local businesses and community groups are encouraged to be partners in the Litter Free projects.
Roger Catchpole (North Hill parish group) attends the ‘Clean Cornwall’ meetings, contributing to the development of county-wide strategies and giving insights into successful local actions.
With take-away food packaging, drinks containers and plastic bags now all too familiar a sight on Cornish roads, the litter problem must be tackled – and communities working in partnership with Cornwall Council can make a tremendous difference in helping to keep Cornwall clean.
Litter: from a regular visitor to North Hill
There I was, litter-picker-upper in one hand and plastic bag in the other, walking towards Trebartha from North Hill. I usually took this kit with me on walks, doing my bit to keep the countryside clear of litter, but there was definitely something different - there seemed on this stretch of road to be no litter at all. Next thing I knew, a pair of slightly disreputable individuals was coming towards me all kitted up with walking boots and anoraks, and (you’ve guessed it) litter-pickers and plastic bags.
They turned out to be Jill and Tom from Landreyne, who told me about the parish litter group - which explained the state of the road. (*Keith Woods, a volunteer from North Hill village, now looks after this road.)
I had been thinking about some kind of litter organization at home - we live in Bowdon, 10 miles SW of Manchester. So now we have a group along the lines of the North Hill parish initiative. In our suburban environment there is much more litter. We have 5 schools, two pubs and a 150-vehicle car park; population density is high. Even not counting school children, the population of the square mile around our house is probably 2,000.
A letter was delivered to every address in the chosen area, 20 at a time, asking for volunteers. My secret weapon was the offer of a cup of coffee and a slice of cake in the newly opened café round the corner, where I would explain the plan. About one volunteer came forward per 20 houses - I ended up drinking gallons of coffee and consuming cart-loads of chocolate cake. But it was worth it, because by the time all the roads in the square mile were covered we had 30 volunteers, and I had a great many new friends.
Only two letters produced responses which were less than welcoming. Their gist was ‘keep off our patch’, because residents were already doing the necessary.
We meet at intervals at someone’s house. About 10 turn up, we have a chin-wag and swap ideas with minimal formality. But I do circulate a brief note of what was discussed, people prefer it that way.
The next step? Some want to duplicate our model in adjoining parts of the Manchester conurbation, and I am hoping to find an organizer for the new group(s) - anyone from Cornwall thinking of re-locating to the North-West any time soon?
Bowdon Litter Pickers
* Update Nov 2011. For more see www.litterfree.co.uk