Cookham Dog Walkers Litter Picking

You would be surprised at the amount of health and safety instructions that are apparently required to execute a litter pick.  Two pages worth to be precise how to bend, what not to pick up, safe and effective use of a pair of latex gloves.  Now dont get me wrong the Cookham Dog Walkers were very grateful for the RBWM Adopt a Street schemes support, but we decided to gloss over fully briefing everything in, just in the interests of starting before a week next Tuesday.  The litter picking kit itself was nothing short of a triumph: four pairs of gloves, four florescent tabards, three and a half thousand black plastic sacks as thin as the increasingly thin, Thin Blue Line that polices Winter Hill.  The piece-de-resistance though was the sticky picky litter picking up stick things (over which there was a bit of a bun fight because we did not have quite enough to go around).  Splitting into two teams allowed us to tackle the footpath down to Cockmarsh, the National Trust car park and the road along the top.  We found exactly what we expected to find the relatively harmless but deeply annoying Kentucky Fried Chicken packaging and Lucozade bottles etc. were everywhere.  And at the risk of sounding like my Mother - who incidentally was there, wielding a sticky picky thing and leaving no Costa coffee cup un-turned - these people must literally just open the car door and push everything out.  Or drive along and chuck it straight out the window.  How do people think that is "acceptable behaviour"?  
Anyway - there were a few surprises, at least for some.  You try explaining to an 85 year old with short term memory issues that the many, many tiny little plastic bags we collected were for drugs. "Oh yes, I see it Mum - I think its for drugs".  "Oh another one Mum - well done! It's because they put drugs in them".  "The little plastic bag you've just picked up?  Yes, its still for drugs Mum".  And "actually no Mum, I can't tell you how one would go about organising a deal, or how much a packet would cost or indeed why they choose Winter Hill when you can't get there on the bus. Perhaps they do take a taxi, yes".  
The half bottle of Martel cognac was a genuine shock our countryside obviously draws a classier sort of drunk, although considering its 40% proof and the lack of public transport, the thought of that same person driving home is deeply uncomfortable.  There was one final surprise when we came across a washing machine.  Hotpoint in case you were wondering. We rolled it back up the steep incline, which was no mean feat let me tell you, and left it there for Ranger Owen to collect  because he has nothing better to do than pick up fly tip.
If I am being completely honest I did not expect to enjoy myself.  I went because Im slightly OCD and the endless rubbish drives me insane BUT we all agreed, that the morning was really, really satisfying and good fun!  We looked back at our handiwork, and across at our three big bags of rubbish, and felt a genuine sense of achievement.  Special thanks go to CDWers Peter Borcherds and Paul, Abigail and Sophia Harding with Bo and of course, my Mother.


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