After a winter of discontent the time had come for Abbe’s Walk to endure a clean up. A massive clean up as it turned out. The Burghwallis team of 11 faithful volunteers (Alex, Alistair, Brenda, Craig, Dave H, Dave M, Diane, Jill, Julia, Kath and Rob) duly assembled, in the pouring rain, in wet weather gear, and armed with a bunch of Doncaster MBC bin bags and a litter picker the battle commenced.
Normally the clear up takes six volunteers one hour to clear the one-mile length of Abbe’s Walk. This time the Bogans* had gone to town and supplied us with all manner of detritus only they, with their tiny, tiny brains felt should be thrown in the hedgerow and verges.
The range of rubbish conjured up a mental image of the miscreants. Within the first 50 metres we had removed two tyres, an ASDA trolley and around 60 empty drinks tins, plastic bottles, plastic bags and 30 crisp packets, MacDonald’s bags and polystyrene containers. Oh and a complete car seat.
The next leg unearthed 24 paint tins with various amounts of paint remaining. One of which was a ghastly pink. Clearly this choice of colour has not met with approval and we could clearly see why this full tin was excess to requirement. This little horde also gave us the opportunity to pull another six tyres out of the ditch.
Abbe’s Walk being a single track has frequent passing bays – regretfully providing the Bogans somewhere to park whilst they empty stuff rattling around the foot well of their car or stashed in the boot to be dumped under the cover of darkness. We can assume some of these clowns are young. In one passing bay there were 48 tins of Orangeboom full strength lager. At 8.5 per cent proof this should have been some party but the guys must have found the strength of the drink a little too powerful for most had some of the contents still in the tins. Poor dears.
At the next passing point the first discarded condom. At least there is one Bogan taking care not to reproduce itself. Further up the lane there was a collection of 12 pairs of ladies knickers and one pair of gents Y fronts. Respect.
A cache of 10 hypodermic needles revealed the lair of a drug addict. Seems it was struggling to convert, as they lay adjacent to the drugs paraphernalia of bent teaspoon and burnt tinfoil. How do we know these things you may well ask? Too much TV perhaps, but further detection knowledge of the litter pickers was to emerge further down the lane.
A further 10 tyres, two complete wheels, more paint tins, hundreds of beer cans and plastic bottles emerged before we discovered the residue of our drug growing friends. The root balls of spent cannabis plants and the telltale appearance of the moisture retaining balls they place around the plants started to liven up the day. Better still were the 18 plastic buckets they were planted in. These were good quality and in first class nick. They have already been recycled and half the village will be growing runner beans in them this year. Could make the veggies taste interesting for a while.
And we also found the goon of the year. Although there are hefty fines for fly tipping there is yet to be a case found against anyone dumping rubbish around Burghwallis. Evidence is understandably hard to come by. Unless you dump your advertising sign. Full name and address supplied!!!!
A remote controlled car, Lego bricks, computer monitors, oxygen gas bottle, fan heater and a sound system added to the hoard. Interestingly a guy who kept parading up and down the lane in his SUV with different items in his trailer each time he passed – in either direction – was probably responsible for removing the aluminium trailer frame we pulled out of the undergrowth and left lying against a tree.
In all the team collected an estimated 40 bags of rubbish along the one-mile section. The highlight was the pair of lederhosen shorts. Whether these belonged to the guy without the Y fronts we will never know.
In the meantime we are on the lookout for a drunk German drug addict who seems to be wandering about commando style in a car with no wheels.