While training some of the donkeys along roads near the farm, we had started to notice more and more litter cluttering the verges. So while long-reining or while walking the dogs we would take a bag and start picking up the various crisp packets and tins along the way. This wasn’t a good enough solution as the bag ended up full even with so much rubbish still to collect. We have wicker baskets known as creels that sit on either side of the donkeys back. We lined each basket with a black bin bag, equipped ourselves with some hi-vis, litter pickers and gloves!

We selected Hobnob to take the creels - she enjoys a walk and she can easily take the weight of the baskets. Over the course of lockdown the amount of walkers on Chestnut Road has increased so much and it’s been lovely to see! So there were plenty of people able to see Hobnob and say hello to her.

We walked for about a mile, and we ended up with; countless beer/energy drink cans, sweetie wrappers, five yoghurt pots, coffee cups, takeaway boxes, plastic bottles, a wing mirror, cigarette boxes, a whole car bumper, two bottles of wine, baby wipes, and 14 tied-up bags of dog poo. We were genuinely horrified at the sheer number of rubbish - we would have walked further but our bin bags were completely full. It was a tad confusing as well… the amount of beer cans it seems as though people are walking up the road for a party!!! One of the most concerning issues was the dog poo - some people don’t pick up their dog’s foul and that’s not good, but even worse is taking the effort to tie it up and then choosing to tie it to a fence or throw it into a hedge. This is so dangerous to all the animals that live here (cows, donkeys, horses, dogs, cats, foxes) and it’s so upsetting to see someone having so little regard for the world around them.

Now when we go for a walk, whether it’s with a donkey or just taking the dog, we will lift what we can. Can you imagine how much cleaner the countryside could be if every time you went for a walk you picked up just one bit of rubbish? Some people will argue that it is not their responsibility but at some point it becomes all of our responsibilities to keep our earth clean. If you have a community litter pick coming up, please let us know we would love to help if we can!

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