Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Load Of Tossers.

I'm fortunate enough to live a short distance from Roundhay Park, at 700 acres, one of the largest city parks in Europe.  I've posted a few photos and items about it on this blog before but it's such a wonderful city amenity that I make no apologies for posting about it again.

Sadly this post will be another bit of a rant and I promise I'll get down off my soapbox soon.

We had another gloriously warm, sunny day to bring the curtain down on May and so I decided to get some much needed exercise and combine it with seeing the park again.  I usually like to go there during the week when it's not so busy but needs must and all that, so I hoped that even a busy Sunday visit would still give me a good walk with lots of lovely scenery thrown in.

Yes I got a good walk (over 2 hrs worth) and the scenery WAS lovely but it was all spoilt by the tons of rubbish I saw everywhere within the park.

We really are a rubbish throwing nation and I don't know why but I wish it would stop.  We have rules about it but maybe we all know those rules aren't worth the discarded paper they're written on.  I'm sick and tired of being behind people, seeing them unwrapping everything from candy bars to cigarette packs and being 99% certain that the paper will be tossed away. 

Of course we are also a nation with precious few bins in our public spaces and one official in Roundhay Park once told me that was to stop terrorists from placing bombs in them !  So at least we now have a person to blame for all the litter in Leeds - Osama 'Bin' Laden.

Middle name a coincidence ? I don't think so !   

What bins I saw today were overflowing with garbage so I guess they don't get emptied at weekends.  Great, the busiest days of the week and no one empties the bins.  I'd still hope people would pick up their rubbish and take it home with them but it seems that few do.  The lovely lakeside paths and grassy slopes were littered with......litter.  Fast food packaging, crisp bags, plastic beer containers, cigarette packs, newspapers and worst of all, glass beer bottles were all over the place and as well as looking awful and spoiling the ambiance of the park, a lot of it was downright dangerous, given the many hundreds of children playing there.

I just don't get it.  Why ?  Why do people litter ?  

I tend to get a bit snobbish as I have to say the vast majority of the people I see throwing stuff away like this are low lifes.  Common even, if such a word means anything these days.  And of course if asked politely to pick up their rubbish, their comeback is verbal abuse at best and physical abuse at worst.  So we don't say anything and the littering continues as their children follow suit.  They just don't see it as an issue as they probably return to homes that don't look that much different - a rubbish tip with 3 bedrooms.

It was all summed up for me when I was looking over the lake from a raised area and noticed a family (mum, dad and 2 small kids) throwing bread into the water. For once there wasn't any wildlife at all in the lake but they'd obviously decided that as they'd brought a full bag of stale bread all that way, they were jolly well going to throw it all into the water.

Entire slices flew through the air and plopped in the lake.  The area around these people looked like an explosion in a bread factory. And the bag the bread came in ?  Oh it was last seen blowing away along the path as the family finished up and left the park. Yes I felt like picking it up and giving it back to them but the dad didn't look the sort to appreciate such a lesson in civic pride and so I just sighed and left the park myself.

Maybe overnight the magical litter fairies will wave their wands and all the litter will be gone by morning.  Anything has to be better than expecting Leeds Council to rush to do it !

Anyway I took some new photos and will add them below - because despite all the crap left by us humans, nature still puts on a good show in the park.

I also took a couple of panorama photos to try and show these particular views better. The last one was taken from a similar location to where I took the photo at the bottom of this blog. I prefer the autumnal view better of course but it's nice to be able to compare them.

So overall the park came out the winner again today but it was close. If the litter louts continue to spoil a good thing, then I fear for the park, for Leeds and most important for me, my blood pressure.


Daphne said...

I've known Roundhay Park all my life and love it. When I see people throwing litter, there or anywhere else, it infuriates me. It seems like a small crime and hence there are no strong penalties - - but actually it is a crime that's ruining the country for all of us. So Life Imprisonment for Litter Louts, say I! (I'm up on that soapbox with you, can you tell?)

Milo said...

If there is too much litter due to overflowing bins etc, you should write to the council. So many local councils are utterly incompetent (most I would say) but it's local tax payers' money keeping them in jammy dodgers. I know it's easy to feel powerless but you never know, applying some pressure to the council (or your local councillor would be a good start) is worth a shot.

Debby said...

Be careful on that soapbox. I'm sorry your lovely, restful, day was spoiled by scum. At least it was a different scum this time!

Nice piccies. I always love when you show pictures of places I've been.

jay said...

I don't get it either. Why litter? It's ugly and dangerous and attracts vermin, and it's the equivalent of doing That Thing on your own doorstep.

Neither do I understand the thinking behind the litter bin/terrorist idea. There are plenty of places to hide bombs for those determined to do so. Like, for instance, these days, they could stuff one in a used carrier bag or cardboard box. add a few takeaway cartons and put it pretty much anywhere they liked. People would just walk around it.

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