Love Your Forest
Love Your Forest: Forest of Dean’s Anti-Litter Campaign
Everyone wants to live in a place that is clean and safe. In the UK, we are lucky to have so many green beauty spots, but litter is becoming an increasing blight on country roads and woodlands.
In the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, 250 tonnes of rubbish are removed every year at a cost of over £400,000. That equates to 3 bags of rubbish for every kilometre of forest that is cleaned.
Love your forest
The #LoveYourForest campaign looked at different ways to reduce littering in the Forest of Dean area. The initiative included a pop-up litter shop which showcased artwork made from 33-year old litter which had been collected from the forest floor! This was meant to show just how long litter can last if it is discarded.
Local children designed ‘faces’ for trees in the forest, and the idea behind it was that you are far less likely to dump litter if you are being ‘watched’. A walking trail was created so that people could see the artwork.
The campaign engaged the local community in activities, and the areas around the Communitrees saw a 30% reduction in litter.
The Trashconverter van toured the Forest of Dean area throughout May 2017. It visited schools, businesses, parks, and town centres, and people were invited to ‘trade in’ litter for hot drinks, flowers, and seeds. They were also encouraged to pick up some litter in the area with litter equipment provided by the organisers.
The Trashconverter Van is part of the Love Your Forest anti-littering campaign. The campaign was run in partnership with the local council, the forest commission, and the Lucozade Ribena company, which is a major local employer. The company stated that they were happy to be involved as it enabled them to interact with the community in which they operate.
After talking to local residents in the Forest of Dean area, the Love Your Forest campaign’s main message was around taking pride in your local area. The campaign organisers are getting as many people involved as possible, with the eventual aim of handing over the running of the campaign to community groups. Groups will have access to the resources that have already been put together to carry on the fantastic work started by the campaign.