Many thanks to the local residents who braved the cold weather today to work on the station embankments. We narrowly avoided the rain too. Thank you to all the passers by who stopped to say thank you and have a chat.
The Volunteers were mostly there to cut back vegetation growing through the Springbank Road fence but to be honest, today was TRASH; an unprecedented TWELVE SACKS of rubbish were picked up from the Hither Green embankments; three bags from Fernbrook and 9 from the much busier Springbank.
Not since the first days of this conservation project has so much rubbish been picked up from the street-fenceline and from along the platforms. Most months we collect 1 or 2 half bags, and in a bad month maybe 5. So what’s going on?
The bulk of the litter is fizzy drinks cans, wine and beer bottles and plastic bottles thrown over the fences. But congrats to the person/s who managed to get a DVD player and carpet rolls over. Even if this disrupts the ongoing conservation work at least volunteers can reach this rubbish and dispose of it properly.
The steep slopes beneath the staircases on platforms 1, 4 5 and 6 are *covered* in commuter trash. If you throw your Tango can from the station staircases, there is NO ONE who is going to rappel down the embankment to pick it up. That can is now there permanently, along with a thousand other cans, waiting to harm one of the species living there.
Hither Green’s embankments are home to colonies of hedgehogs, foxes and other small mammals. Bird breeding season begins in two weeks and several species use the large expanses of bramble for nesting cover. The biggest area of brambles under the platform one staircase is currently covered in unreachable cans.
The land between platforms 4 and 5 is an officially recognised Lewisham nature reserve called the Hither Green Nature Triangle. Since the coming of the railway there has always been very restricted access to the site and as a consequence there are plant species there, not found anywhere else in Lewisham. It has a complex management plan and plant surveys are carried out every few years. The seasonal lack of tree canopy cover means you can currently see tons of trash strewn across this environmentally significant space, discarded from the platforms. There is a narrow stream running through the nature reserve which then collects into a small pond hidden by the woodland. This pond feeds into the River Quaggy. Commuter trash is not only disfiguring the nature reserve, it’s also ending up in the Quaggy and every riverbank between here and the Thames.
So the litter not only looks terrible and is mostly inaccesible, it is also a danger to our local woodland and river ecosystems. And meanwhile, *there are litter bins on all trains, along the platforms and at each entrance to the Station!*