Friends of Crossness reserve clear litter eyesores

Crossness Nature Reserve Manager, Karen Sutton writes:

The public footpath that runs along the bottom of the Crossness Nature Reserve, is a pleasant wooded path with plenty of Ash, Hazel and scrub. Unfortunately however, the path gets heavily littered with rubbish blowing in off of the adjacent dual carriageway (the A2016).

On the Crossness Southern Marsh, our landholding starts further west, but the entrance from Eastern Way is particularly susceptible to fly-tipping, in addition to the windblown litter from Eastern Way. At this time of the year, with the trees devoid of foliage, it becomes a real eyesore and makes for a very unpleasant entrance to both sites.

Fortunately for us, thirteen hardworking volunteers turned out today for the Great Big Litter Pick. In addition to tyres, chairs, large plant pots, and other items too large to bag-up, the Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve collected 34 sacks of rubbish. Soon the bluebells and daffodils will be up and, with the rubbish now cleared, it will once again be a pleasant connecting path for the two sites.

Crossness footpath litter before clearance. (Photo: Karen Sutton)

Crossness footpath litter before clearance. (Photo: Karen Sutton)

After ...... (Photo: Karen Sutton)

After …… (Photo: Karen Sutton)

The most unexpected find of the day was dinosaur bones!! Yes, that’s right, dinosaur bones. Ok, they were plastic, but it caused a bit of excitement and we dreamt up all kinds of pranks in which they could play a part on unsuspecting colleagues. The finders of this bizarre article, were long-serving husband and wife volunteers, Martin and Elisabeth. Last year, our strangest find was a ‘sawn-off parking meter’! There’s always something slightly unusual to be found.

The Crossness litter-picking team (Photo: Martin Petchey)

The Crossness litter-picking team (Photo: Martin Petchey)

At the end when we were eating our lunch in the bird hide,the Marsh Harrier put in another appearance. It flew in from the west, over the wader scrape, West Paddock, and settled again on the Great Breach Lagoon. A rather nice reward after all our hard work 🙂

A second round of litter picking is scheduled for Friday 27th February. This one will take place on Crossness Southern Marsh, where some recent unlawful grazing under the Eastern Way flyover revealed tonnes of rubbish that has blown in from the road above. This replaces the planned reed cutting event that has been postponed due to the high water levels. If you fancy helping to clear this small, but heavily littered patch, do please let me know by dropping an email to karen.sutton@thameswater.co.uk

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