One of the great things about running is getting off the city streets and out onto trails and paths. Often you don’t even need to leave the city to do this. In Southampton, where I live, there are a number of parks and an extensive “green belt” around the edge of the city. I don’t have to run far to find myself squelching through puddles, flying down trails, and slogging up hills. I may not be far from civilisation, but it is remarkable how much nature there is to enjoy. I frequently see many varieties of birds and plants, foxes and occasionally even deer. Unfortunately I also regularly see large amounts of illegally disposed waste:
And it is horrible. The following photos are from this morning’s run and were taken on the Roman Road footpath in Chilworth, just to the north of Southampton. They were taken on my phone, so excuse the quality.
I really struggle to comprehend how anyone could think that is an acceptable thing to do. As well as being an eyesore in what is actually quite a nice area to run through, it poses a hazard to those using the path and can have potentially serious consequences for the local wildlife. I spent the rest of the run fuming at this senseless act of environmental vandalism.
The really sad thing is that this is not the first time I have seen such a large amount of waste left on this path, let alone elsewhere, and no doubt it won’t be the last. So I urge all of you, when you are out running, walking, or cycling through our “green and pleasant” land, and you come across fly tipping, please report it This is a serious problem and it needs to be dealt with properly.
Knowing who to contact can be difficult as it is dealt with on a local authority basis and each council has different communication channels, but if you report it they are obliged to clean it up. In the UK, the FixMyStreet website is a great way of reporting fly tipping as it works out which local authority is responsible, and passes your report on automatically.
Yes, it shouldn’t have to fall on public money to tidy up the mess of criminals, but until more effective ways of preventing fly tipping are devised, this is all we’ve got.
Apologies to my international readers, as the above information on UK local councils is of no use to you, but the sentiment remains the same, wherever you are:
Ignoring fly tipping won’t make it go away.
If you have any useful information for reporting fly tipping in other areas or countries, please post it in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading, and happy running.