Leaving rubbish around can cause all kinds of injuries to wildlife. Small mammals like voles and shrews get trapped and die in empty bottles. Birds get their legs and necks caught in the plastic rings that hold cans together. Foxes cut themselves scavenging from food cans. As well as this, litter looks a mess.
You can help, firstly by not dropping any. And secondly, by going out and clearing it up.
• Find somewhere that is safe for you to work and where there is a litter problem, for example, a local pavement, footpath or park. You might like to collect litter in a local nature reserve. Contact the warden of the nature reserve to ask for permission first. Make sure you put on your gloves before starting to collect litter.
• Decide where to get rid of the litter. Recycle as much of it as you can. You may find it easiest to collect into different bags for paper, glass and metal (Do not collect broken glass). Alternatively you can sort it at the end. If you are expecting to collect a lot of rubbish, then contact the local council (look for their number in the phone book) and arrange for them to pick it up for you. Otherwise you may need to get someone to take it to a council refuse tip.
• Get together a group of helpers. You might like to make it more fun by organising a picnic or barbecue afterwards. Don’t forget soap and water for washing hands.
• The best time to collect litter is late summer or autumn, as earlier in the year you could disturb nesting birds, especially if you are clearing under hedges and trees.