Flam­ing nui­sance

If you’re plan­ning to turn up for a cook-out on the cut, don’t leave your bar­be­cue lit­ter be­hind

Canal Boat - - Engine & Gearbox Directory -

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.

Vicky Blick

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