A mum of two young children has appealed to islanders to pick up their litter after her family repeatedly had to clear public playing fields just to enjoy a game of football.
Neda Chick and her husband took their children, Mina and Atticus, to the La Mare de Carteret playing fields last week and arrived to find litter strewn over the area.
“After trying to dodge all of the plastic bottles, cans of energy drink and chippy boxes, my husband started to put all the litter in one place in the corner of the goal,” said Mrs Chick.
“The wind started to blow some of the lighter items away, so the kids asked if they could clear it all up.”
Pictured: Mina and Atticus Chick have started litter picking at the playing fields near their home.
Mrs Chick said this was not the first occasion they have litter picked in the area.
“We moved into a new house last summer near to the playing fields and we are shocked at how often this happens,” she said.
“Vandalism is also a problem. For example, there used to be football posts at the far end of the field [on the beach side] but they were damaged by people swinging on the crossbar and had to be taken down.”
Mrs Chick said that her husband had confronted a group of youths at the field.
“My husband spoke to a group of lads who were throwing glass beer bottles on to the recently removed crossbar and the glass was smashing on the ground,” she said.
“When he explained that our kids play football there, the group were apologetic and helped him to pick up the glass.
"Thankfully, they weren’t bad kids, they were just doing something silly, but it could easily have been a different outcome with a different group of kids.”
Pictured: The Chick family have purchased bag holders and litter pickers.
Mrs Chick has tried to create a sense of responsibility in her children.
“We have taught Mina and Atticus that, if someone drops litter, it hurts the environment and someone else has to pick it up, so they are aware of the issue.
“The kids are taught more about the environment than we ever were at school. They have even taught us a thing or two.”
Mrs Chick said the family has purchased items to ensure safety when litter picking.
“Initially we used gloves and my husband held the bags and told the kids which item went in which bag, but we have since bought litter pickers and bag holders because we have found glass and sharp bits of plastic on occasion,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Chick said they “don’t understand how someone can leave the area like that”.
Pictured: Litter at La Mare de Carteret playing fields.
“I feel sad that some people ruin it for others by leaving their rubbish, but I am also proud to see people, including our kids, consciously out there cleaning up.
“Our kids don’t get upset by it. They just look out the window and say 'mum/dad - the field’s messy again'. We always try to get them to focus on the positives that they are doing the right thing and so are the many others who help keep the area clean.”
Mrs Chick believes something could be done to help remedy the problem.
“I’m not sure who is responsible for the playing fields, but I think it would be really helpful if there were black bins by the entrances or smaller recycling bins that might encourage people to use them,” she said.
Pictured: Mina Chick has been learning about the environment at school.
“No one wants to put greasy chip paper or boxes into their bags to take home - if bins were available, it would help.
“It would be really nice if people took their litter away with them.
"But I don’t think you’ll ever stop people littering, no matter how much you try, as there will always be those who don’t really care.”
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