Litter and Wildlife
There are hidden dangers to wildlife and pets
Litter in the grass, in hedgerows, ditches may not always be visible, and can cause real dangers for wildlife.
Over 69,000 animals were killed or injured by litter last year in Britain. The rat population has boomed to 60 million due to the huge amounts of litter around. This means there are now almost as many rats as people in the UK.
There are hidden dangers to wildlife and pets in agricultural and household refuse which, if disposed of irresponsibly, can cause injury and suffering. Scraps of food remaining in discarded cans and jars may tempt hedgehogs and other animals to investigate; they may squeeze their heads into the container but all too often they then get stuck.
Plastic bags – these can trap and suffocate animals that climb inside.
Tin cans can cut and trap animals.
Plastic drinks can holders (four plastic rings) the ‘fourpack’ can holders can easily become tangled up around animals or even strangle them.
Glass can cause serious injuries to both animals and people and is also a fire hazard. It should never be left lying around.
Elastic bands – these can trap and entangle animals.
When you are in the countryside
The Countryside Code gives good advice for when you are visiting the countryside:
- be safe - plan ahead
- leave gates as you find them
- protect plants and animals, take your litter home
- keep dogs under close control
- consider other people
For the full Countryside Code and other information see the countryside access website www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk.
To watch the excellent Creature Comforts Video about visiting the countryside, click Creature Comforts.
The amount of litter dropped yearly in the UK has increased by 500% since the 1960s. This causes real problems as well as degrading aour beaultiful countryside.
More about the problems >