No regrets! It’s not too late to register for the Race for Reading.
I’ve been going slowly but nothing is stopping me. My quest is to collect litter and marine plastic as I walk along the coast of the UK to raise funds for the charity Schoolreaders.
As you can see on my earlier posts, I’ve been using the alphabet as a theme.
N is for Nothing changes unless we take action
Day 14 – Another nice walk along the estuary into the small town of Newport collecting numerous wrappers and a noxious nappy dropped by numbskulls.
I walk another 3km later, cleaning the high tide line along the beach finding, amongst the rope and fishing line, a spoon, a sock and five poo bags. Why dog owners use tennis balls is a mystery. They contain lead and can choke large dogs.
O is for Obviously old things get outdated or ousted and litter becomes an ordinary occurrence rather than an outrage.
Day 15 – I only cover 2 kms following the coastal path to a lifeboat station but collect three old socks, a pair of knickers and half a bucket of litter. I later search the tide line for flotsam and mainly find dog poo bags and obsolete fishing line while covering another 3.5kms.
P is for Plastic –
Day 16 – I plod past a harbour collecting picnic litter, pondering on the fact I’ve probably covered 2 kms. Later I pace the tide line for 3.7kms returning with a heavy bucketful of party rubbish: plastic packaging, plastic bottles, plastic cutlery, plastic cups, plastic straws and 6-pack plastic that litters the coast. I find plenty of plastic cotton bud stalks, panty liners and packets of condoms along the shore – an indication of sewage entering the sea. PVC rope and polystyrene discarded by the fishing industry is common.
Patience is needed. PPE, party poppers, plasters and ear plugs fill me with fury. I prefer picking up paddles, pegs, paintbrushes, pens and pencils since there’s a possibility they were simply lost. There’s a litter-picking prize for finding pairs of pants.
Day 17 –
Q is for quayside
but as that is now clean, I walk up the estuary into a quaint market town. It’s quiet but I find a lot of wrappers, covering 3.9kms as I collect a bucketful of litter. The skate park posed quite a challenge. The drains there wash straight into the estuary.
After lunch, I set out across the sand dunes finding a quantity of drink cans and glass bottles left by camp fires. The 20 bottles are heavy to lug back.
I’ve learnt a lot since collecting litter. You see what’s happening from the underside of society. Alcohol containers are often discarded from high vehicles , rural drug taking is rife and fishing vessels are shredding nets at sea. The arterial roads of Britain are strewn with rat-infested litter loaded with human DNA. It’s surprising we are not threatened by a more serious pandemic.
Day 18 –
R is for re-cycling on the Race for Reading
I have been putting bottles or clean drink cans in the recycling bins but most coastal plastic needs to go to landfill. I scan the mudflats for ancient litter including heinous broken glass covering about 2.5km.
Day 19 –
S is for Sunshine
Silvery skies lift my spirit as I search the seashore for seven kilometers without seeing much flotsam. We seem to be making progress. If people see no rubbish they are less likely to drop litter.
Day 20 –
T is for tidying
I retrace my tracks traversing three kilometers to town coming across little litter. Two more kilometers with the dog and I’m tired but happy. Another two kilometers in the evening take us to a running total of 55 miles covered litter-picking so far. Logging my progress with the Race for Reading has been motivational.
Each donation will be matched by my company, and then again by SchoolReaders matched funding, so if you can donate £5 it will be magnified to £20.
Every small amount is an encouragement and will make a difference, enabling slow readers to catch up at school and gain a love for books.
You can hear about the work of the charity here: