Be kind to your parks and they will be kind to you.
The parks have never been so important as a refuge where people could spend time in nature, boosting their physical and mental wellbeing. We’ve seen an increase in people coming to the Royal Parks to soak up the incredible natural environment and enjoy relaxing.
But you may have seen in the news that recently two fallow deer were caught on camera nosing through plastic bags filled with food waste, left by picnickers in Bushy Park.
We want everyone to have a good time in the parks – that’s what they’re here for – but sadly, this year, following the lockdown we saw an unprecedented rise in the amount of litter left.
We calculated an increase in litter of around a third this summer compared with last year. And there have been all sorts of things left behind. We’ve seen whole parties left behind – glass bottles, pizza boxes, plastic bags bursting with food – as well as plastic gloves and masks.
For example, in June earlier this year 20 tonnes of litter were left in Bushy Park – 13 tonnes more than last year, and this took staff 685 hours to clear away.
This is despite staff increasing the number of bins left in Bushy Park following lockdown by fifty percent, and on occasions grounds staff were staying until 9pm to clear rubbish.
Litter spoils the beautiful landscape. Collecting and disposing of litter takes time and money. The Royal Parks is a charity and we’re responsible to raising around 80 % of our own income – and money spent on clearing litter can’t be spent on other ways to keep our parks beautiful.
Dumped litter presents a huge risk to wildlife which is attracted to picnic scraps and sadly can accidently eat plastic bags along with the food. The plastic can block their digestive system causing a lingering death from starvation.
So we’re asking everyone who visits the parks to spread a bit of kindness and help us look after the environment. Binning litter or taking it home will keep the parks beautiful places for everyone to enjoy – and will help ensure that our incredible wildlife continues to thrive and stay safe.
And we can all do our bit to help the environment too by recycling what we can. Don’t forget to follow the bin labelling to make sure that only recyclable waste is placed in recycling bins so that it can be properly processed.
So please enjoy your visit to the beautiful spaces in our parks, and spare a thought for the wonderful wildlife which lives there. Be kind to your parks and they will be kind to you.
For more information contact