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Reader’s letter: Take your litter home and look after our environment and nature

Don’t be selfish, take your litter home with you! That’s the massage from Farnley 10-year-old Emma Thompson, who’s encouraging people to take a pride in their community and environment. Here’s her letter:

In these sad times we have been going on local daily walks and this has opened our eyes to how beautiful nature is, as well as the wonderful sights around us.

Then one day (20th May, 2020) around 7.30pm we walked to meet Dad from his work in Pudsey. We walked across Old Farnley recreation ground, where we encountered several large groups of people who were not “social distancing” and who were drinking from glass bottles which they left on the field.

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We continued with our walk and vowed to return to the field and clear it of any litter to the best of our ability. 

The walk takes around an hour. We arrived home about 9pm and collected a bucket and some bin bags to collect the litter.

We all put on a pair of rubber gloves and Mum, Ellie (my sister), my Dad and I walked back up to the field. I felt disgusted at the state the field was in – bags of litter and cans and broken glass everywhere, even a plastic broken chair.

Here is a statement from a local angry and concerned mum:

“I was appalled with the state of the field. It resembled the aftermath of a festival; there was broken glass everywhere and little silver canisters that I then had to explain to my child what they were. I’m all up for a good party but have a thought for others and clean up after yourself.”

My sister Ellie also had an opinion:

“When we walked to the field, I was confused and annoyed at the clear lack of respect and consideration for others these people had. It sickens me to think that anyone would leave it in such a state when they were aware that children played on this field.

“After weeks of lockdown people were beginning to return to the area and it seemed unfair their experiences should be ruined by the broken glass and litter that the selfish individuals didn’t take home.”   

The recreation ground is used for football and other local games.

Plenty of families walk across that field every day with younger children: they picnic there and play games with their families.

We’ve even ventured up ourselves with the push bikes and rode around the field, and our baby brother Freddie toddled around with a small football.

The field is right next to a primary school and also a high school. This makes it very dangerous for the students to walk home. Ironically, the government’s slogans are #stayalert #stayhome #staysafe. In the surrounding areas there are lots of animals too. The other day we even saw a deer run down our own street!

Please, please, please never ever do what these selfish people did. Take your litter home, clear up, look after our environment and nature. Stay at home, stay safe and, most importantly, protect the NHS. 

Yesterday West Leeds Dispatch reported problems with dumped rubbish and vandalism in Swinnow. There have also been similar reports of problems in Queens Park in Pudsey, Armley Park and Bramley Park.

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