Every day, I walk my two dogs around the various pleasant parts of Mill Hill. Typically there are four main routes we take. A circle from Millway, thru the Broadway, up Hale Lane (possibly stopping at the Railway for refreshment), up Selvage Lane, down the Hendon Way and back down Millway. The second is a circuit of Mill Hill Park via Station Road and Flower Lane. The third is a circuit of Arrandene open space via Lawrence Street, the St Joes Footpath Birkbeck road, the Mill Hill School footpath. The fourth is the same as the third with an added leg to the Adam and Eve for refreshments.
There is someething which I've noticed more and more and is getting worse now that the weather is warming up. I find it disgusting just how little respect people have for our open spaces. Both Arrandene and Mill Hill Park are constantly awash with litter. What is especially bad is family groups who have picnics and barbeques who simpy can't be bothered to put their rubbish in the bins provided in the park, or take it with them at Arrandene.
Even worse, it seems that some people think that the purpose of beauty spots such as Arrandene is to serve as a dump for flytipping. In recent months, I've seen beds, household waste and all manner of items dumped by the entrance to the area. I find it sickening. For householders, the council operates a recycling facility at Summers Lane in Finchley, where items can be dropped off free of charge. This is set up for just this purpose. The cost to the council of having to send a van out to collect dumped rubbish is enormous in comparison. We as taxpayers all pay.
In the park, I find it especially galling that people simply leave plates, cans, bottles and bags to blow about. What message does this send to the kids who play there. I recently politely asked a teenager to pick up a can that they'd dropped to put it in a bin that was about 20 feet from where they were standing. His response "Get a life, ****". At this I informed him that I knew his parents and that if he didn't I was going to call them and ask them whether they thought he should pick it up. At this he complied, but not with good grace. I mulled over whether I should have a word with them anyway. I am pretty sure they would be less than impressed. I decided to simply say "listen son, you doing that means that I have to pay more council tax, because someone has to clean up your mess, and it spoils the park for everyone". I doubt that this had much effect, but I felt I had to make some comment.
When it comes down to it, there really is no excuse. Is there.