EACH time I travel between Windermere and Kendal by car or bus I'm appalled at the amount of litter in the roadside verges.

When I travelled home yesterday there was a big bag of rubbish in the middle of the road, as well as a coat or something that has been there for weeks. From the bus I see that a large bag of rubbish has been dumped over the wall into the field next to Windermere School, which nobody has bothered to clear up.

It makes me so sad that I live in a country which seems so impoverished that we can't afford to employ anyone to clear up the mess.

There are apparently fines for littering but I never read of anybody being charged.

Much of this litter can't be cleared by volunteers as it is in the verge where there are no footpaths, too near to the traffic or generally inaccessible. There is also so much of it that no individual could make any serious impact.

I'm even sadder, and ashamed, that so many my fellow citizens think nothing of tossing their unwanted food and drink containers and other junk out of their cars.

A recent letter in The Westmorland Gazette suggested that the problem of dog mess has been addressed but you can't walk far in the countryside before you'll come across a bag of it hanging from a tree or dumped on the ground.

Presumably the people who leave it think someone else should dispose of it for them. Or maybe they like to kid themselves or us that they'll return for it.

What must foreign visitors to our beautiful county think of British people? When I visited Japan it was obvious that people don't drop litter and where it does accidentally appear somebody will clear it up. In contrast, the UK is beginning to look like a third world country.

This is a blight on our environment.

Stephen Tomlinson

Troutbeck Bridge