There is growing anger in local communities at the state of the Kent countryside.
There is a growing amount of litter discarded along verges and country lanes. In Dover there is not only piles of litter by the sides of the roads, but also plastic bottles containing ‘yellow’ liquid, which we can only assume is urine.
Another local took photos of a lay-by on the A20 is one mile from the port Of Dover where thousands of international visitors arrive.
Many are quick to point a finger at lorry drivers, who could be dumping their rubbish during their mandatory breaks. But the problem is much bigger than this and as a country, we do not condone bad behaviour anymore.
With the countryside looking so dirty, we cannot expect visitors to Kent to behave any differently either.
Meanwhile in Southborough, High Brooms, St John’s and Sherwood, volunteers collected 140 sacks of rubbish from the streets and green spaces, bringing the year to date figure to 261 sacks. This just highlights the scale of the problem.
Local councils do not clear the verges of rubbish any more due to financial cutbacks. So it is left to volunteers to clean up the mess, which is almost impossible on busy sections of roads.
There needs to be change and it starts with all of us. We should not accept this mess and must begin a process of saying so. Educating young people to clear away rubbish and be responsible for the countryside is needed.
But we also need local councils to step up. Not only do they need to provide more rubbish bins, but they need a regular routine to empty them. How many times have you seen a public bin overflowing with rubbish?
No matter what our feeling is on lorry parks, we need to provide overnight parking for drivers. It is not acceptable to have HGVs parked in laybys or parked by the side of the road and have drivers without toilet facilities.
It is time to take pride in our country and begin the process of cleaning up.