The Peddars Way was an unexpected pleasure last year. Not that I didn’t expect to enjoy it. The company of Alan and Darren stacked the odds towards enjoyment. No, it was the countryside. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hills and mountains, but Norfolk is beautiful in a quintessentially English way.

What surprised me, was the comparative solitude, given we were walking through woodlands and farmland. The PW largely avoids habitation and Norfolk is surprisingly sparsely populated. This is not wilderness in the classic sense, but refreshingly empty.

The one thing that disturbed and disappointed me was the rubbish. Not that the trail was constantly besmirched by the stuff, but every so often, there would be something dumped by the wayside. Sometimes it was a plastic bag, empty or full.

The most shocking example was when we crossed a bridge over a disused railway line near Swaffham. Looking over the parapet, this was the view that greeted me. Words fail me.


15 thoughts on “Rubbish”

  1. It always amazes me how fly tippers choose such nice areas to ruin??

    Makes my blood boil seeing that kind of stuff. I (sadly all too often these days) regularly have “words” with randoms in the street when I see them littering.

  2. You can see this elsewhere too, I saw things like this often in Corsica. It seems like people that don’t care about wasting their environment are everywhere.

  3. Of all the parts of the UK that we’ve walked, the worst fly-tipping problem (by an order of magnitude) was Kent. Incredible amounts of tipping.

    After we got home from that walk I read a book by someone else who had walked Kent to Cape Wrath, back in 2003, and made a similar observation about Kent – so it seems like it isn’t a recent problem down there.

    I really struggle to understand the mindset of a fly-tipper (in the same way that I fail to understand why people can manage to carry full bottles/cans/tins into bothies or wild campsites, but can’t manage to carry the empties back out).

  4. Two points to comment on – fly-tipping seems to be more prevalent now that there is a land fill tax on businesses hence the dumping of tyres. Seen that here near Aberdeen – all the tyres were professionally cut through with a guillotine and dumped at the side of a quiet road.
    Secondly, the morons who dump bottles, cans etc at bothies probably don’t want to potentially dirty their sacks with dirty items. It wiuldn’t occur to them to wash them out.

  5. Buggers aint they – its countrywide, the problem. If it were free to tip, or if the folk dumping the tyres would actually spend the “disposal” element of their fitting invoice on “disposal” instead of beer, we might have a prettier countryside.

    To them it is wasteland, to us it is wonderland ruined.

  6. These very quiet spots are often quite easily accessible from a road, all too easy to dispose of rubbish undisturbed. With all the camera-equipped mobiles around you’d think someone would catch them in the act and capture their regs.
    Unfortunately the backpacking karma wins the day with some scumbags: the bottles and cans are precious on the walk in, but once emptied they are dead weight and volume – and all backpackers detest dead weight. That’s no excuse of course, even less so for day walkers stuffing wrappers and banana skins into cairns and stone walls.

  7. I remember that scene well Robin. A feeling of leaden despair crawls into your gut when you come across it.

    I recently reported some fly–tipping a few miles from where I live, to the Council. They were not interested but did say they would let the land-owner know. So the poor sap who has had his land screwed also has to foot the bill for clearing it up.

    I had a really good dig through the rubbish to see if there was anything at all that would indicate who had tipped it.

    On my LEJOG, I loved walking the British canals, but they were inevitably strewn with rubbish as soon as you neared any size of settlement.


  8. I found lots of boxes and other rubbish dumped at Jenny Browns point, nr silverdale, looked for labels to hopefully pass on to council, but nothing. My view on fly tipping is its beyond belief why. Morons!

  9. Bill Howden and I filled a shopping bag with rubbish we collected along the road from Glen Affric to Cannich on last year’s Challenge. We saw very little litter out in the hills, but as soon as we joind the road, there it was!

  10. It’s a while since I’ve seen anything as bad as that, but the worst thing I’ve seen recently which made my blood boil, was on the Pennine Way last year. In the Wark Forest section a few miles north of Hadrian’s Wall, I came across a couple of bin bags full of rubbish, just abandoned in the trees, near the Way. My only conclusion was that it was Pennine Wayers who’d been wild camping there and decided they couldn’t be bothered to dispose of their rubbish properly – it’s so quiet and out-of-the-way there, I couldn’t imagine anyone else had walked in to dump stuff…
    I just can’t understand what goes on in the heads of some people.

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