Croydon Council has joined forces with residents and park users to launch a social media campaign aimed at combatting the challenges of litter dropped in our parks, after seven extra tonnes of rubbish were collected from April to June this year.
With contributions from the Friends of South Norwood Lakes, the Friends of Lloyd Park and children from Howard Primary School in south Croydon, a series of videos will explore how Croydon’s parks and green spaces became a sanctuary for many during the unprecedented lockdown period. A number of the residents recalled how coming to their local open space helped their physical and mental well-being with many positive memories made.
Nine year old Amira-Lee Henry from Howard Primary School was one of those who shared her memories of coming to Duppas Hill Park following the school closures in March. Amira-Lee said: “Me and my brother came to this park every day and we learnt to ride our bikes during lockdown. It was lovely to have the big open space.”
However, these memories are at risk of being tarnished by the excessive amounts of litter left behind by some park users. Despite the introduction of new larger caged bins to handle a rise in people visiting parks, the council’s grounds maintenance team are collecting up to 300 extra bags of rubbish a day.
Gary Munden, a member of the grounds maintenance team has been working throughout the pandemic by cleaning parks and open spaces across the borough. He said: “We are very lucky in Croydon to have these amazing open spaces but sometimes it feels soul-destroying when you clean up a park, come back an hour later and there is mess left everywhere. Please help us by using the bins or taking your rubbish home.”
“During lockdown we welcomed more people than ever to our parks and open spaces and it’s fantastic that we have nature on our doorstep in Croydon. But it is also saddening that a significant minority are abusing these spaces by littering and spoiling our parks for others. There is no excuse for littering – anybody caught will be issued a £150 fine. If the bins are full, take your rubbish home.”
Councillor Stuart Collins, deputy leader – Clean Green Croydon