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A Litter Pick Memory

Dorchester 22nd June 2020.

On that lovely sunny Monday we met at 10.30am, 6 young people from across Dorset and 3 youth workers from Space Youth Project took on the Maumbury rings litter.

A pleasant wander around, yes, we were socially distanced but that didn’t stop the singing, jokes and giggles, there was a cornucopia of weird and wonderful litter to keep us all wondering and amused!

A two-hour effort from everyone revealed a much cleaner and even more pleasant Maumbury rings. Finally we finished with a picnic of Pizza and fizzy drinks on the grass much to everyone’s delight.

Below is a report by one of our young people who tells the story so much better.

Coronavirus may have cancelled everything and everyone’s plans - Pride, Glastonbury, even the British Soap Awards (now we’ll never know how many awards Coronation Street would have won) - but it seems litter prevails through it all. Either people don’t care about coronavirus and still went out, or people don’t care about Dorchester and have been doing this for a while. My bet’s on both.

However, as much litter there was, there were a handful willing volunteers to take on the beast that’s been festering in the grass for longer than time itself. Leaving the comfort of their sofas, gaming consoles and online streaming services (Netflix waits for no one), they adorned their masks and gloves - latex or thick cloth - before picking out bags and pickers, ready to do some good.

Now, it’s no surprise to anyone that England is a wet place - as I write this, it’s raining - and the park in Maumbury has a colossal mound. Despite an assumed Coca-Cola can being one of the many little litter treasures to try siren-calling us up the slope, we knew we weren’t allowed to climb it.

Many things were collected that luckily hot day, and all seemed to tell their own story. At first, there was not much else than feathers and too-large-for-liking wood chunks, but the further we walked, the stranger our finds. Cigarette butts, not the strangest to find; broken, rounded metal pieces that were at first assumed to be the insides of a tennis ball; foil squeezed into tight balls; even certain sorts of recreational paraphernalia, with an emphasis on creation, considering the bizarre things we found - you might even call it recycling. A pair were even lucky to profit monetarily off the whole thing, finding seventy pence in the whole fiasco.

Despite the lockdown, there were people around, but they mostly kept their distance, of course, although at one point a man walked up to the group with a glass Coca-Cola (it always seems to be coke, huh?) bottle, thanking us for what we were doing.

Besides the obscure things we found, there wasn’t really much to collect, at least in comparison to the park’s neighbour - walking by the metal fences could cause jealousy as you walked past mounds upon mounds of litter, just out of reach. Damn private property.


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