Why you should litter pick your local park

It’s Love Parks week and what better way to show your local park some love than by keeping it clean and tidy? Our local parks are more than just patches of green; they are vibrant community spaces that offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life, a place to connect with nature, and a setting for recreational activities as well as being home to an abundance of plants and wildlife.

Litter picking is an easy and instant thing to do (if you follow some common sense safety) and has a surprising number of benefits to people personally, the community and environment.  

Litter, particularly plastic, releases harmful substances into the soil and water, contaminating the soil and water, posing a serious risk to plant and animal life. Animals looking for food and shelter can become trapped, leading to injuries and death. By picking up litter, and disposing of our own litter responsibly, we can safeguard the natural ecosystem within our parks and ensure the health of the wildlife that calls these spaces home. Litter doesn’t just pose a risk to wildlife. Broken glass poses the biggest risk of injury, but discarded food can attract vermin and dog fouling poses serious health risks to children.  

Research into the issue of littering reveals a marked effect on how safe people feel and how well cared for the area appears. Clean parks are aesthetically pleasing and inviting, encouraging people to spend more time outdoors, engaging in physical activities and connecting with nature. Litter-free parks also enhance the overall image of a community, creating a sense of pride among its residents. A clean park is an asset to the community, providing recreational opportunities that contribute to the overall well-being and happiness of residents.  

Litter picking in local parks can bring people together for a common cause. Community-led clean-up initiatives foster a sense of togetherness, encouraging residents to actively participate in maintaining and preserving their shared spaces. These collective efforts can strengthen community bonds and create a greater sense of ownership and responsibility for the park’s welfare. They can also provide fun opportunities for young people to get involved in their community.  

In taking collective responsibility for the well-being of our parks, we can ensure that these precious green spaces continue to thrive for generations to come. Let us all play our part in preserving the beauty and value of our local parks by disposing of litter responsibly and participating in regular clean-up efforts. Many parks have a dedicated ‘Friends of’ group and many hold regular clean-up events.

If you’d like to give solo litter picking a go, you can contact litter.watch@calderdale.gov.uk or get in touch with us natalie.ratner@nhpltd.org.uk for support in starting your own group.

Leave a Reply