Wellbeing notes: Outdoor spring clean

01/03/2023 at 9:02 am | Posted in Wellbeing notes | Leave a comment
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If you see a piece of litter on a country walk, do you pick it up sometimes, often, or never? In my case, if I’m honest, it depends on the litter. Some items can’t easily be picked up. Other times, I’m rushing past on my way to a Very Pressing Appointment, and I’d rather not turn up all mucky. But I hope that I do try to bag litter at least some of the time. 

When you or I pick up discarded rubbish, we’re contributing to a beneficial practice which has been gaining real traction in the UK, and elsewhere. 

This year the Great British Spring Clean runs from 17th March to 2nd April. Look out for individuals, pledging to fill a single bag; and volunteer groups, working together. For ideas on how to join in, see Keep Britain Tidy. In 2022’s Spring Clean, nearly half a million bags of refuse were apparently collected and properly disposed of. That’s a lot of tidying up – enough to make a visible difference.

Walking outdoors is brilliant for mental wellbeing as well as physical health. One of my favourite local walks takes me through woods, meadowland and over a tiny wild garlic stream, all dappled in sunlight. Over the coming weeks, additional flowers will grow along the route: fragrant bluebells like the ones pictured here; dainty lady’s smock; vibrant orchids; purple knapweed and tall, waving daisies. What I’d rather not see among them is an empty can or plastic wrapper, so if there’s anything along those lines, here is my pledge that I’ll be picking it up.

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