Litter picking on Wanstead Flats

A guest post on today, from Sarah Mbatha who is actually a resident of Manor Park ward, but whose sterling work (alongside Misty’s) organising volunteer litter picks helps to get people together, and to improve the condition of our treasured Wanstead Flats for everyone to enjoy.

Sarah shared some good news on social media recently, so I asked her if we could help publicise it on our blog:

‘I think that everyone has noticed that recently there seems to be a lot more rubbish on Wanstead Flats, with many of us expressing our frustration on social media.

Wanstead Flats Pickers also noticed that we were collecting more rubbish recently – 21 of us collected 89 bags in early September. Some people on social media questioned whether the existence of volunteer litter picking groups, meant that the City of London was reducing paid staff resources on the Flats.

While we didn’t think this was the case, we did begin to feel that resources weren’t enough to keep the Flats in the condition it deserves to be.

Earlier this year we started to meet with the City of London every two months, to see how we can work together more effectively. Other volunteer ‘friends of the flats’ groups attend and we focus on our different areas of interest – nature and conservation as well as litter, anti-social behaviour, bins, improving communication, use of signs etc.

Recently, we’ve spent a lot of time in these meetings talking about staff resources and we’re absolutely thrilled to confirm that the Flats now have TWO full time litter pickers – we previously had one shared picker who covered other parts of the forest too.

Credit to the City for listening to local concerns and providing us with the resources we had asked for.

The volunteer litter picks go on – Wanstead Flats Pickers meet last Sunday at 11am outside Golden Fleece. We hope it will soon start to get a lot more difficult to find rubbish to fill our bags.

In the meantime, join us and make some rubbish friends.’

Thanks so much Sarah, for your organising, but also for such a great result from working positively with the Corporation of London.

If you have some local news or an issue that you’d like to share on our blog then please get in touch with Rachel, Seyi or Anam using the contact us tab at the top.

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