I hope that you may have 5 minutes to spare in order to have a read of this week’s Community Safety Blog. I have highlighted successful community organisations on previous weeks blogs but this week I will focus on a group of local people who have simply decided that they must take their own direct action. Well I say people but in actual fact the star of the show is an energetic and dutiful dog called Lexie. I met up with the group last Tuesday afternoon when they had agreed to take me on a tour of some of the routes and locations that they regularly cover when they are out collecting rubbish and clearing up their immediate local area. This dedication and commitment are exemplary, so we are truly fortunate that they have agreed to actively support the Keep Camelon and Tamfourhill Tidy, Clean and Green campaign.
After a short briefing session, we headed along the canal tow path past Lock 14 and down towards Camelon Public Park, this was all new territory for myself, it was a fine day and the tow path was being well used by walkers and cyclists. The level of litter and rubbish was moderate, but I was impressed with the group’s techniques and silky use of the litter pickers, even discarded cigarette butts were skilfully removed and put into the bin bag. The most outstanding contribution however was from Lexie who is so well trained and in tune with the task at hand that she is mega efficient at pulling discarded plastic bottles, crisp pokes, sweetie rappers and discarded cans out from the jaggy bushes and grass verges. In addition to removing the litter we were also mapping out the areas for potential growing spots and for locations that had been badly disfigured by fly -tipping. This was a double-edged sword as we identified an excellent area of the public park for growing a wildflower meadow and a couple of horrific spots piled high with human detritus and industrial sized rubbish. This was a bit of a roller coaster, the ups of the canal and the tow path, green areas for potential community growing and the lows of sizeable dumps of fly tipping and industrial garbage.
We identified this terrible load of rubbish near Camelon Main Street; however, the Councils Environmental Enforcement Team are onto it and I therefore hope to report a clean up in the next few weeks. Please do report fly tipping if you see it, remember not to interfere with it as there could be evidence of the perpetrators amongst the debris. You can report fly tipping to Falkirk Council at https://my.falkirk.gov.uk/en, if you are having problems with the online process, please do not hesitate to contact myself for some help.
A significant strand of the local Clear Up campaign will be about supporting and building upon the great work that is already undertaken by local people. Nobody asked these particular volunteers to give up their time and dirty their hands with the task of making their neighbourhoods look tidier and cleaner, they have taken that responsibility on for themselves. They care deeply about their local community and are motivated to make a difference and I felt energised and positive after my mapping session with them last week. In addition, since the recent publicity in the Falkirk Herald a number of other volunteers have got in touch and have put themselves forward to assist with the Campaign. I can also report on having very constructive meetings with Falkirk Council Waste Services and I am greatly confident that we can all work together and have a significant impact on improving of the area.
We are now a Keep Scotland Beautiful Community Hub which means we will be able to support our existing volunteers with improved resources and support and we can also support any groups or individuals who want to organise and run their own litter picks. The Councils new Litter strategy once agreed will also provide us with additional equipment for groups, publicity materials and very importantly Public Liability Insurance. I will also be looking to involve and engage the local schools, youth and community groups and local businesses with the Clear up Campaign. So, if you want to organise your own litter pick then please get in touch with myself, the contact details are below. I can help you plan, provide equipment, support you with some citizen science advice and ensure your litter pick is risk assessed and the paperwork is in place so you and your group are fully covered by the relevant insurance policy. I am hoping that more local people and groups will step up to the mark and contribute and follow in the footsteps of the Union Road Group and a dog called Lexie.
Please contact John R Hosie : Community Safety Engager 07391524528 & firstname.lastname@example.org