National campaign to tackle littering in our parks
Hertsmere Borough Council is supporting a new campaign over the summer months as a result of the increases in littering and anti-social behaviour that have been seen since lockdown eased.
The campaign, developed by Keep Britain Tidy, comes after a new survey, carried out by the environmental charity, shows that more than half of the country’s parks have had to pull in extra resources to deal with the issues, including litter and anti-social behaviour, since lockdown was eased.
Councillor Seamus Quilty, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “The levels of litter and waste being left by members of the public has reached unprecedented levels.
“Our parks and open spaces have become a haven for residents during the lockdown for exercise, escape and relaxation. Unfortunately a minority of people have littered, left dog waste, vandalised our playgrounds and treated our parks with no respect. This has diverted valuable resources and officer time.
“We have some beautiful, award winning parks and open spaces seeped in nature. Let’s keep them that way.”
The new campaign, under the umbrella of ‘Love Parks’, uses behavioural insights that show people respond better to messages from individuals and features images of real parks staff and park users with quotes that talk about how anti-social behaviour makes them feel, with each one urging people to ‘be kind’ to their park.
Richard McIlwain, Deputy Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “The UK was the birthplace of the public park and their value was recognised by many people during lockdown as a haven of greenspace for exercise and relaxation.
“But, as lockdown measures have eased, we’ve seen a significant minority of people abuse these treasured spaces, with shocking scenes of anti-social behaviour, including littering, people using parks as toilets and abuse of parks staff.
“This campaign, which has been made available to every local authority in the country and which is based on behavioural science, will act as an effective nudge to actively encourage people to treat our beautiful parks – and the amazing staff who work in them – with respect this summer.”
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “As the coronavirus lockdown has eased, the amount of litter being left in parks, green spaces and beaches across the country is unacceptable. I wholeheartedly support Keep Britain Tidy’s new campaign to tackle this issue. If you are unable to dispose of litter, then please take it home so you don’t destroy what you have come to enjoy.”
Find out more about Hertsmere’s parks and open spaces on our website: www.hertsmere.gov.uk/parks