The South Downs Way gets a Great British Spring Clean

2nd April 2019

The Long Distance Walkers Association has teamed up with the South Downs National Park Authority to carry out a litter pick around the eastern loop of the National Trail. Walkers collected litter along the Trail on Saturday March 30th between Eastbourne and Alfriston. The event took place during the Great British Spring Clean which is running between 22nd March and 23rd April.

The iconic South Downs Way is walked and ridden by thousands of people each year, who come to enjoy the stunning views and special wildlife. Much of the litter found in the countryside is plastics, these do not easily degrade, but instead break down into smaller pieces which stay in our environment for years.

Andy Gattiker, South Downs Way Trail manager said “It’s great to know that those that use and enjoy our stunning countryside, want to help and put something back into helping to keep these places special.” He added “Most of our visitors to the National Park really care about this special place and don’t drop litter; we find that much of what is found along the SDW is blown in on the wind and then caught on fences or in scrub along the trail.”

Anthony Mitchell from the “Long Distance Walkers Association said “We want to keep the places we love and use, beautiful for people and wildlife to enjoy, but we also want to inspire others to do the same and get out into the countryside and take action.”

The SDNPA and LDWA are urging local groups and schools to consider ‘adopting’ local stretches of the South Downs Way, or any of their favourite routes in the National Park to carry out local litter picks on a regular basis. Andy Gattiker said “We know that regular litter picks makes the job a whole lot quicker and easier than waiting for an annual clearance. It can become part of other regular activities.” Any groups interested in finding out more and how the SDNPA can help should email the National Trails team at sdw@southdowns.gov.uk.

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Members of the LDWA at the start of their litter pick - SDNPA