Diary of a litter picker – coming out of the first Coronavirus Lockdown

Author Sophie Neville collecting litter in the New Forest
Sophie Neville collecting litter in the New Forest as quarantine restrictions lift

Accompanied by my purple bucket, rescue hound, two sons and their small children, I can no longer classify myself as a lone litter-picker, but as Covid-19 restrictions lifted on 4th July we set off through the New Forest to resume collecting things that have been lost or discarded. Most of what we found was scattered around the car park despite the prevalence of litter bins.

5th July, and I collected this from a causeway crossing a tidal river where some drivers think it a good idea to toss what they no longer desire into the water.  The evidence suggests they are drink driving, and perhaps not thinking clearly.

I pick up endless car parts and assorted trash whenever I venture out, believing that taking one or two pieces from the river bank has to make a difference. We collected a bucketful collected from a beach on the Solent and another from around a local landmark in the New Forest National Park.

When will people realise what they are doing to the planet? The dog now waits expectantly while I excavate plastic from the sea, often showing me something I’ve missed like a lost shoe. I was extracting three pieces of plastic guttering from the Solent when this photo was taken.

To see what I collected during the Coronavirus Lockdown, please click here.

To read about beach cleaning along Solent shore, please click here.

For a list of things I typically find on Solent beach cleans, please click here

Sophie Neville collecting litter dropped along the Solent Way in Hampshire

Author: Sophie Neville

Writer and charity fundraiser

9 thoughts on “Diary of a litter picker – coming out of the first Coronavirus Lockdown”

  1. Much of the litter we’ve picked up in Cumbria lately has been within yards of litter bins. People baffle me!

      1. Yes, we do. Another annoyance is dog faeces bags carefully knotted and then just dropped on the ground or left hanging from the nearest tree! And it is not usually that the nearby litter bins are overflowing – where we are they are regularly emptied. We also regularly drive the A66 and see a great deal evidently thrown from cars. I feel sorry for the council workers we see out risking their necks and breathing in car fumes as they pick it up. Regards John

  2. We have the ‘litter on the path/road adjacent to a litter bin’ problem in Lancashire too, unbelievable. When my wife used to litter-pick she was forever pulling out rubbish from the hedgerows.

    1. I’m busy examining WHY people throw litter – especially when they could use a bin. Is it a small act of rebellion? And outward expression of inner pain? Or just thrilling?

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