Charity landed with £1.3 million annual price tag to collect and dispose of litter from the parks
A plastic bag tightly wrapped around a stag’s mouth, a hedgehog caught on film entangled in a party balloon and a cormorant with a plastic beer-pack ring round its neck are among the most distressing effects of littering on wildlife seen by The Royal Parks’ staff this year.
Throughout the different lockdowns and beyond, piles of plastic bags filled with left-over picnic waste, pizza boxes, glass bottles, dog poo bags and PPE have been proving hazardous to wildlife. Small animals and birds can climb inside plastic bags or get their heads stuck in bottles or cans and suffocate.Wildlife attracted to left-over scraps can accidently eat plastic waste, clogging up their intestines, causing them pain or even death by starvation. Deer become distressed if they get plastic bags tangled in their antlers and can cause a stampede which is dangerous to the public.
The Royal Parks charity, which manages London’s eight historic parks and other important green spaces in the capital, is highlighting the impact of discarded trash on wildlife as part of its ‘Help Nature Thrive’ campaign this summer. The campaign is asking visitors to ‘leave no trace’ and to take their rubbish home or put it in the bins if there is space.
It is illegal to leave litter in the Royal Parks and, under the park regulations, offenders could be fined.
In the last year 1,982 tonnes of waste were collected from across the Royal Parks - that’s the equivalent weight of 157 new London Routemaster buses.
It costs The Royal Parks charity at least £1.3million a year to collect and dispose of litter discarded across the 5,000 acres of parkland in order to protect wildlife and keep the parks beautiful. There are often considerable additional costs when the parks are busy with high volumes of discarded rubbish, and litter-pickers having to start work before dawn to make sure the parks are beautiful before they open.
Posted On: 06/08/2021