Nature Diary

What YOU Don’t Usually See.

Another series from the Stable of Guy that you may recognise that l have brought over for its relevancy to this blog’s open genre.

Last Wednesday, whilst in Gazen Salts, l talked with a friend about two topics. One was photography and the photographs that people don’t often see, which photographers usually skirt about and take from a different angle and also about the sorry state of affairs regarding apathy and rubbish in the town of Sandwich and that it was fast becoming evident that people had lost interest in being environmentally minded when it came to debris.

One of the most distinct behaviours l have witnessed, and it is by no means specific to the UK, are the rising levels of rubbish that both people drop and communities seemingly let slide – as in being able to walk past it and not seem concerned.

I have lived in Sandwich now for just over two years. I took up residency of the Willow property on June 6th 2020, l started living here full time from July 17th, but l was here from mid-June clearing up the garden, tidying the house and taking walks around the lovely medieval town of Sandwich.

I have very profoundly noticed in that short period of two years how much the rubbish is building up and people who seemingly are not that bothered by it. This isn’t entirely true; there are always municipal workers out cleaning the town, but given this town’s tourist popularity and heavy traffic, l do expect there to be more concerns than there are.

Sandwich is one of the oldest townships in England today. It was one of the Cinque Ports and has many listed conservation and medieval buildings, churches, public houses, ancient walls and arched gates. It is of historical importance, and yet …

It also has increased apathy concerning the environmental state of disrepair of the town itself. This astonishes me regularly how a town this old, this ancient and this medieval can look in the sorry state it does.

I am not trying to be unfair to the councils working towards cleaning up Sandwich. I just think there should be more efforts put into place. So aggrieved by the sad state of Sandwich and the rising rubbish, l decided to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak and take on board another voluntary duty with Sandwich and, in addition to the commitment towards Gazen Salts Nature Reserve, which is litter picking.

Pointless criticising the state of rubbish if l am unwilling to do something about it. Suze and I already pick up bits of trash we see when out for our walks, so spending a few extra hours a week formally will not be that much of a hardship.

I love this town, and l am passionate about the environment and Sandwich. I walk daily all weathers and seasons here, taking photographs, l see the rubbish and frown. Well, now l will be doing something in a reliable structured way. We all must keep the environment clean; l personally consider it a civic duty.

I have a Theme Life gallery next month, dealing with this topic and how it impacts wildlife.

Today was rubbish or rather recycle day in the town, so organised garbage collections started for the town around six am. My trash is collected just before eight. The problem here l have noticed is that there is no regulated structure for collection from domestic residents. Many do use specific boxes and bins, but sadly many do not.

Recycling collections are more accessible and efficient than household waste because it is mostly cardboard, glass and plastics, whilst household waste is mostly kitchen scraps where significant issues arise. This is primarily because of wildlife interference. Many townsfolk believe the biggest culprit to be suburban foxes, but that isn’t the case. The culprits for tearing open plastic bags are cats and seagulls.

This is NOT saying foxes don’t attack wastes, l am sure they do, but l have seen more seagulls pillaging rubbish bags than foxes. I have seen our medieval streets littered with all sorts of waste, from the kitchens to litter trays and dog waste. It is unpleasant and ironic in some ways.

In medieval London, the behaviour of throwing rubbish out of the windows onto the streets outside and below was common practice. Of course, even though that was usually completely unsanitary and unclean, it was also not complex waste like we have today.

People possessed fewer things; they weren’t eating processed and wrapped foodstuffs, there was no plastic or disposable wares, and more truthfully, the bulk of their rubbish was easier to degrade.

It isn’t just the government officials in the wrong here at times. They provide a service that we pay for. The biggest issue is people’s lack of concern for how they dispose of their domestic litter. I put my household waste bags out on the day of collection and not the night before, meaning they are not then potentially subject to wildlife predation.

Admittedly l also compost my kitchen waste and two of my neighbours, but if l didn’t, there are kitchen caddies to use to place rubbish outside the house. Yet, many people do not bother with this and put waste directly into plastic bags, which are field-stripped by birds and cats.

It can be quite a sight and not a pretty one when waste bags are torn open and scattered around the streets.

However, that aside, l thought l would share some of the views l don’t often share in the galleries of the Sandwich people don’t often see, but l will talk of this trash issue another time..

You will have seen these locations before, even on rubbish days, but l don’t normally show certain things in my photographs. Like people, l don’t do people, but then l am mostly walking very early.

These photos were taken between 4.30 am to 5.00 am this morning, and there are very few people out and about. I don’t include garden or rubbish wastes, industry, rusty smears, or swampy sewers or road signs and l don’t usually show government warning signs.

Currently the UK has avian flu which worries me terribly given how l love all the birds l interact with and take photographs of. Avian influenza is a viral disease that affects birds – pigeons, ducks, poultry. It is only in the last few days that an actual sign has gone up in Sandwich.

Another pandemic …

Thanks for reading, see you next time.

Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

15 thoughts on “Nature Diary

  1. During lockdown when I was walking, I noticed SOOOOO many masks lying in the streets. I still see them occasionally. People are awful!!

    The apartments on the other side of our wall moved their dumpster, and apparently some people think chucking their trash in the general direction is good enough🤦🏼‍♀️ It comes over the wall, and then of course, Zeus has to investigate 🙄🤦🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! Masks in 20 and 21 were aplenty and like you, here in 22, they have n’t disappeared entirely, but this is only because people are not wearing masks all the time anymore.

      We have litter bins here, people in the main do try and use them, but they fill up quickly and then they overflow and then people like the dumpster just throw it in the general direction instead of walking twenty feet further and putting litter in the next bin along?

      If that is their attitude what must their houses be like?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed the pictures. Your town looks very charming. It is sad to think people carelessly leave trash anywhere they please. Good for you for cleaning up waste, but it’s a shame you have to.

    I live in a very rural area in the Appalachian Mountains. I am surrounded by state parks and forests. They used to be littered something terrible as tourists started flooding in once they learned how quaint and historical the county I live in is (ugh, people)! However, the DNR really started cracking down on hefty fines for littering and leaving trash behind, and I don’t see much trash scattered around anymore. I still take a trash bag with me on hikes, because there is still trash along the road leading into theft parks and forests. I don’t understand why people can’t be respectful…

    Liked by 1 person

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