One of the best things about Dover and Deal is our countryside and beaches. Rolling hills surround Dover. At the summit the hills offer panoramic views across the English Channel. Deal and Walmer benefit from pebble beaches, busy with walkers and cyclists on hot days. Over at Langdon Cliffs, visitors come to see the famous White Cliffs and our chalk grassland. A habitat full of flowers and butterflies during the summer months. Our countryside villages have pristine village greens and rich ancient woodland. We are so fortunate to enjoy such a remarkable environment.
It is an environment that has a great history and attracts very many people to visit each year. During the pandemic, more local people have enjoyed walks and picnics too. All of us valuing and cherishing our location as it has supported us physically and mentally during the lockdowns.
However, too often during the pandemic, visitors have found our beauty spots strewn with unsightly rubbish. Rubbish has become a major problem across the entire country – not simply in our corner of Kent. As lockdown finally ends, it is important that we start to deal with the problem.
In many respects, the solution is simple – reminding everyone to Keep Britain Tidy and for everyone to play their part to dispose of litter. To take rubbish home, not dump it in our nationally important habitats where it risks harming flora and fauna. Not to dump it by the side of the road, where it can only be cleaned up when traffic can be safely stopped, usually on just a few days each year.
Another part of the solution is the army of litter volunteers in our community. Volunteers who work so hard to clean up litter and to protect our environment all year round. Last week, I joined a group of volunteers in St Margaret’s Bay, along with Dover District Council Leader, Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Cllr Martin Bates, Cllr Oliver Richardson and Parish Council Chairman, Cllr Rebecca Simcox. Together we cleaned up rubbish which had been left on the beach and promenade. There was a lot of rubbish. By the time everyone had finished the place was looking lovely again. Other volunteering groups are hard at work keeping beaches and byways clean all round our coastline and in our towns and villages.
Our environment is one of the most precious things we have. We must protect it. All of us should do our bit to Keep Britain Tidy. So if you drop rubbish, pick it up and take it home with you or bin it. If you see someone else has left some behind, please see if you can dispose of it safely. Please do take care to use disposable plastic gloves during the pandemic to keep safe. If you are a volunteer, thank you for all you do to keep our area clean and tidy. As we do our Spring clean, let’s keep Britain, and Dover & Deal, tidy, and wonderful for all to enjoy.