Cassington Road is an asset for Eynsham - a quiet tarmac road of less than a mile, running alongside fields, ditches and hedgerows, it is a real boon for dog-walkers, cyclists, families with pushchairs and toddlers and those who find the unevenness of our many footpaths too much of a challenge. It serves a number of drivers of commercial vehicles too as a quiet spot for a lunch or coffee break. But in late March it was not looking good. The Council had responded to complaints about fly tipping. Dumped items, once reported, had been quickly removed. But the litter was mounting up.
Eynsham litter pickers do a great job every month, but sadly, there is plenty more to do. Two of us decided on an experiment. If we spent just one hour litter-picking, what could we achieve? We got as far as the parking spot and beyond - a matter of just under 300 yards to the footpath sign and another 300 yards back.
We filled three bin bags. There were drinks cans, bottles (both spirits and beer), food wrappers, cigarette packets plus one single shoe, a once white trainer. We marvelled at the rubbish carefully placed in a plastic bag - then thrown in the ditch; and also at the dog poo, correctly in its bag, tied up and, with the bin yards away, just tossed in the ditch as well! There was one banana skin, but nothing else degradable.
We asked several people to guess how many cans we removed. ‘Ten’ said one person, ‘no, more like 30’ said another. The final count was NINETY-SEVEN! Holsten Lager in its bright yellow and green livery is by far the favourite of the Cassington Road litter louts. All this was in just one quarter of the total distance of that peaceful stretch of road. This hour opened our eyes to what an enormous job litter-picking is, and how important our litter pickers are. What more can we do to stop this destruction of our environment at source?