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Leave nothing but footprints - anti-litter drive for the New Forest coast.

We're reminding residents and visitors to the New Forest coast to enjoy the area, but to take care not to harm it with litter, with a simple message brought to life in artistic images.

A series of banners have been put in prominent locations at coastal areas, asking people to 'leave nothing but footprints', not leave litter behind.

The banners are in a retro seaside style and feature images relevant to the area they will be on display. For example at Keyhaven the banner features the lighthouse at Hurst, and at Milford on Sea the banner shows the view across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. 

Cllr Alison Hoare, our Portfolio Holder for the Environment, explains the approach, "We live in a beautiful area and most people who visit the coast are very respectful of that. During the summer it is great to see our beaches full of people enjoying the coast. But it's not so great to see the increase in picnic litter, discarded BBQs, beach toys and even deck chairs and gazebos.

"We collect from the coastal litter bins seven days per week, doubling the collection frequency between Easter and October where required. Providing more bins, more collections and greater capacity may seem like a solution, however in other areas providing bigger bins has seemingly encouraged litter and fly tipping.  This is something we want to avoid in these sensitive areas."

Recently a photograph taken at Barton on Sea of a discarded metal BBQ and strewn litter was met with wide-spread disgust and outrage when it was posted on our social media - shared by almost a thousand people and organisations within two days, reaching over 150,000 people. 

Cllr Hoare commented, "The reaction to the litter left at Barton shows that people think this is a terrible thing to do.  We want the few people who do this to understand that leaving things behind is not the right thing to do.  If people do not take their belongings away with them then they become litter.  This uncontained waste makes its way into our environment and ultimately our water ways and sea."

There are 26 banners in five coastal locations in the district at Calshot, Keyhaven, Hordle Cliff, Milford on Sea, and Barton on Sea were put up for the start of the half term holiday (27 May). 

The banners will be in place for the summer months.

Anyone who sees litter can report it online at www.newforest.gov.uk and click on reporting.

Published: 28 May 2019
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