Seventeen years ago I moved to Willingdon, a beautiful area, with the South Downs offering wonderful walks and my very own outdoor gym.
The ocean is not that far away so family play, swimming and picnics were all with a backdrop most city dwellers drive hours to see. However, the one thing that spoilt it back then, was the amount of dog (in the streets) or human excrement (in the sea).
I would love to go out with my, then baby in the pram, use all the local shops, support the local post office but I often got annoyed at having to dodge the dog mess down what I named ‘dog poo alley’. After a few years of walking around my local area, we got a car, and I drove most places, including local.
Wherever I have lived in the world, I have always aimed to support local businesses, it’s how communities thrive.
The point, well with driving I no longer saw the dog mess, I no longer phoned the dog warden complaining, only to be told if I went out at 6am and caught the culprits then maybe they could follow it up.
After all this time, my ‘baby’ has just gone to university and I now find, I have time to wander to the post office in the morning. I could not believe that after all these years nothing has changed. I am still dodging dogs’ mess, despite there being dog poo bins all over the place. How is it this has still not improved?
The other thing I am shocked at is how often I am swimming if late and have to avoid putting my face in the sea as I am sharing it with human excrement. What is wrong with this world that I am still having to bring this to the attention of, hopefully a community that cares.
I have spent years, literally, cleaning beaches, gathering up recycling, during Airbourne as early as 5.30am, I have written letters to MPs, gone on marches with Surfers Against Sewage, campaigned for dog poo bins to be installed, emptied regularly etc, and I feel like I am in a bad spaghetti western, and I am the clump of dry grass blowing across a dry plain with no-one paying the slightest attention.
Please help this to be a thing of the past. This is a beautiful place to live, our planet needs more care globally but let’s start by giving it better care in our ‘own corner’. Surely I am not alone in thinking this?
I live in hope that it is not too late to help still with this climate disaster we are facing. I live in hope that governments and local councils will stop allowing raw sewage to be pumped into our oceans.
I live in hope other mums with prams don’t have to spend an hour cleaning the little treads after a stroll to a local shop. I live in hope someone, who is more powerful than me, is listening. I live in hope!