Comment: Thanks to those who clean up the Lake District

It is sobering to learn that divers who flocked to Windermere to scour the bed of the lake for litter removed seven tonnes of rubbish on just one day last weekend.

Items removed included a fire extinguisher, 73 car tyres, four car batteries, flags, shoes, fishing gear, mobile phones and hundreds of tins cans and bottles.

The most bizarre item found was a fully-working toilet.

It is thought some of the rubbish had been lying on the bed for 50 years but, undoubtedly, some of it will be more recent.

It is inevitable that accidents occur and some of the things found could have fallen from boats.

But car batteries and a toilet surely don’t end up in the lake by mistake. Someone, at some time, has made a conscious effort to dump these items in the lake, either because they are too lazy to take them to a proper waste site or for sheer devilment.

In these environmentally-friendly days it is to be hoped the amount of litter being dumped in Windermere – and potentially in other lakes – is on the decrease.

But travelling along many roads in South Lakeland might challenge this view when you witness the sheer amount of litter on the verges and in hedgerows.

Much of this must have been carelessly tossed out of passing cars as litter does not just appear at laybys and beauty spots.

Bottles, cans, food packaging, polythene sheets - it’s all there, spoiling the view and causing harm to local wildlife.

It’s a problem that does not seem to go away.

Community conscious residents at Kirkby Lonsdale are about to hold two litter-picking weekends - last year 60 volunteers filled 200 bags cleaning an area including Casterton, Barbon and Hutton Roof.

And dog fouling remains a recurring problem, hence efforts by South Lakleand District Council to introduce dog control orders to encourage people to clear up after their pets.

At the end of the day, the issue boils down to respect for other people and not being selfish.

In the meantime, praise is due to all those unselfish people who go out of their way to clear up other people’s mess.

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