"Like many parks, beaches and nature reserves across the country, we are experiencing littering on a scale that is unfortunately new to most of us. We were hopeful that, following the easing of lockdown, people would have developed a newfound respect and appreciation for parks and nature, not less" writes Tom Jarvis, Director of Parks.
"We worked really hard to keep the Royal Parks open all the way through the pandemic, for the benefit of people’s mental and physical health, and it’s deeply upsetting to see the volumes of litter that await our staff each morning when they start their shift, sometimes starting as early as 5am in order to ensure it is cleared before the majority of our visitors arrive."
"Each of our parks is different, but typically we are seeing 35-50% more waste generated. We are also seeing a significant increase in litter being left on the grass, including picnic waste, disposable face masks, and takeaway boxes, even when there are bins in close proximity. Typically the worst of the litter is produced on hot evenings, and although we welcome people to relax and unwind in the parks, we believe it’s common courtesy to clear up after yourself when you leave.
"To combat the unsightly litter, we have deployed extra bins and extra staff, but we need people to do their part and either bin it or take it home.
"Parks have been here for visitors throughout lockdown, and we now need visitors to be here for us. To think about their actions and treat these landscapes with the respect they deserve to ensure they can continue to be here for everyone to enjoy during the months ahead."