Leading local news and community platform InYourArea has joined forces with Clean Up Britain and The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust to highlight the threat litter poses to nature, by unveiling a gigantic piece of biodegradable land art.
It shows a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker trapped by single use face masks in the Chiltern Hills.
Don’t Trash Our Future (DTOF) is urging the government to increase fixed penalty notices for littering to £1,000, or 100 hours community litter picking, and to make it compulsory for every local authority in Britain to enforce the law this Bank Holiday weekend and beyond.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was chosen as it is an endangered bird found in the Chilterns and is widely acknowledged as an ecosystem engineer. It only uses its cavity once. It is then recycled by other animals for nesting and roosting by fauna, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. Its population has been decimated since the 1970s. The eco-friendly woodpecker image measures 72m by 68 m and took three days to paint.
Buckinghamshire Council is one of a number of local authorities which under a Freedom of Information request has admitted that it has not issued any fixed penalty notices or made any prosecutions for dropping litter in the last five years.
Estelle Bailey, Chief Executive of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust said: “Many of us have turned to nature during the pandemic for our physical and mental wellbeing. Yet our wild spaces are being treated like dumping grounds, with plastic bottles and bags, tin cans, broken glass, babies’ nappies and even fridges left on our nature reserves. Rubbish like this can have a devastating and even deadly impact on the wildlife and livestock in our countryside.
“We’re in a nature and climate crisis, and wildlife here in the UK is struggling. We need more nature everywhere – not more litter! We urge everyone to follow the countryside code - respect, protect, enjoy and please, take your litter home.”
People can sign the petition at donttrashourfuture.co.uk