If you’re planning to turn up for a cook-out on the cut, don’t leave your barbecue litter behind
It’s the barbecue season. I can tell that for various reasons and not just because summer’s here and the supermarkets are full of marinaded meats, charcoal fuel and barbecues. I know it’s here for other, annoying reasons.
It’s time for me to get my ‘soapbox’ out and have a rant on the subject of spent disposable foil barbecue trays. At least once a week I will be clearing up the litter left from a barbecue party.
The foil tray, coals, bottles, cans, wrappers and general waste discarded without a thought for any other towpath user. Whoever the culprits are, please respect your surroundings and take your litter home. You did bring your picnic to your chosen beauty spot in a bag of some description so have to decency to rebag your waste and carry it home. Why does the minority spoil the country side for the majority?
Apart from the litter aspect there is also the danger to wildlife too. A Thameside farmer told us once about the terrible injuries inflicted to several of his cows that had trodden through discarded foil trays and shredded their legs trying to remove it.
If that’s not bad enough, one afternoon we had frantic knocks on the boat from an anxious jogger. Concerned that he had a medical issue, I dashed out only to be told that the undergrowth under a hedge further up the cut was alight and had we got a bucket. We dashed off with the buckets to the smouldering fire and thankfully doused it in time to save the hedge and the farmer’s crop in the adjoining field. Charcoal smouldering in the dry grass had caused the fire.