I try not to look-it breaks my heart but, everywhere, litter befouls the countryside. It’s never more evident than at this time of year when the verges, bereft of grassy growth, show every beer can, crisp packet and fast-food wrapper. We live in a ‘somebody-else’s-problem’ culture, which allows anyone to fling anything out of their car on the basis that it will be cleared up for them. If they even care that much.

 

What we need is more automatic on-the-spot fines and/or compulsory community service to clear up other people’s litter for anyone doing it. Every government fails or shirks this issue, but if we can be taught to wear seatbelts, surely we can also learn not to drop litter.

 

March is the best time to clear up litter, and many parishes organise days to tidy up their patch from the vandals who have disfigured it. One, North Stifford in Essex, which last week picked up 43 bags in just three hours, was told by Thurrock Council that its efforts were excessive and should be curbed.

 

The council is totally out of touch. Three cheers for the good citizens of North Stifford and everyone everywhere else who fights this shaming blight on rural Britain

 

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