MANY people enjoy taking their dogs for a walk through Hastings Country Park but I do it for a living.
The area around Barley Lane and the East Hill provides me with a safe area in which to walk the dogs I look after. As a thank you to all the landowners/council who allow me free access, I carry with me a carrier bag and commit to picking up litter as I walk the dogs.
It always amazes me the amount of litter I can pick up on a one-hour walk. Some of it I could understand, the odd ice cream wrapper or coke can but I have found that there are a few people who are persistent litter droppers.
Could I through this letters page appeal to the person(s) who regularly leave tissues and wet wipes along the paths to take them home rather than dropping them and littering the countryside. I can almost track the paths this person(s) use, mostly around the old pitch and putt area but sometimes down Ecclesbourne Glen and along the cliff path.
It is very easy to take a carrier bag with them to keep the used tissues in and simply throw the bag away at the end of the walk. There are bins available at the East Hill Lift, the entrance to the East Hill at Rock Lane or the two bins in Barley Lane.
I would also ask that those who do use a bag to pick up their dog litter only to then throw the bag into the undergrowth to refrain from this practice. If they’re not going to dispose of it properly at least leave it on the ground for nature to take its course, dog poo hung in plastic bags in bushes will never break down.
As a responsible dog walker I find it disheartening to see the mess left by a minority of other dog walkers. It would not surprise me if the freedom we have to walk dogs is lost by the inaction of a few.
On a much more positive note I would like to express my thanks to all the Country Park Rangers and those responsible for the upkeep of the paths. Without their efforts many of the routes I use would quickly become overgrown and unusable. If you’ve never explored the labyrinth of less well-travelled paths in the country park you will have no idea of the scale of the job they face.
The park is a credit to the town and I would encourage all readers to explore it (ensuring they take their litter home with them).