Last week, Naomi (Visitor Experience volunteer), Paul Turner (Warden) and myself (Visitor experience officer) went out to do some litter picking on the sides of the road that goes along the Strath Halladale. At the beginning I wasn’t expecting to find that much rubbish; just a few bottles and bags. Well, this is the result after about 2 hours of litter picking:
We collected a great amount of rubbish: bottles, cans, crisps packets and chocolate bar wrappers, all from people that drive across the Flow Country and throw stuff from the window. And this is only along the 3 km that we covered, which are part of the Forsinard Flows Nature Reserve. Imagine the amount of rubbish along the whole Strath!
We even found a patch with at least 10 phonebooks that someone dumped there instead of recycling them, but also broken tyres and big plastic bags and buckets used for farming that never got picked up.
The road goes across the Flow Country, which holds the biggest blanket bog found in Europe. The blanket bog is doing a great community job storing thousands of tonnes of carbon and giving a home to a great number of different species.
Forsinard Flows is stronghold for threatened species such as hen harriers, common scoters, divers and mountain hares, and for very unique plants such as sundew, butterwort, dwarf birch, bog bean, bog myrtle and bog asphodel.
Nor the reserve or the Strath is a wasteland, so please, if you’re driving or hiking through keep your litter with you and make sure nothing falls out of your pocket. Help us to keep the reserve tidy for our wildlife and plants, but also for the people that live on the Strath and for future visitors.
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