Skip to content

An Open Letter To Those Who Litter – by Lorna Mann, CPRE Volunteer

Becky Collier
Becky Collier
By Becky Collier & Becky Collier

With a desire to help protect our countryside, Lorna joined CPRE Somerset earlier this year. She enjoys caring for the plants and wildlife in her garden, exploring the rural landscapes of Somerset and hopes to inspire others with her creative writing, inspired by nature.

Lorna has signed up as one of our #2minute Litterpick Volunteers and will be making a difference to the green spaces around her area of South Somerset.  As she embarked on her new role, Lorna wrote this open letter in response to the increasing amount of litter building up in her local community.

To the fly-tipper who dumped a bathroom suite down an ancient lane – a historic drove that served our forebears so well for hundreds of years:

– Your desecration has not gone unnoticed.


To the group of friends who threw their cider cans into the millstream, under the shadow of an apple orchard:

You had your laughs that summer’s afternoon but is this how you pay tribute to nature? To the trees that supplied the fuel for your pleasure? A gentle year of growth should indeed be celebrated but instead you have reduced their harvest to a heap of trash left to contaminate and destroy.

– Your blind, selfish ignorance has not gone unnoticed.


Just as ancestors from our past, we will one day be reconstructed from evidence of what we leave behind. But instead of pottery, artefacts and precious coins it will be our food packaging, bags of dog excrement and PPE that will be classed as an archaeological find!

I can only conclude in the depths of my despair that for the amount of rubbish that clogs the lungs, veins and heart of our Albion Isle, there are too few of us who care an ounce for our diversely fertile land. A kingdom that has enticed those from far and wide since we first walked this sphere.

There will be excuses, there always are. A lack of facilities, budget cuts and little time in our precious short-lived lives, but these are not reasons to destroy our dwindling green spaces. We share this world with fellow humans and all manner of species who are entitled to much more respect than we appear able to give.

When you choose to litter far and wide across our countryside, spare a thought for the diverse habitats of the hedgerows that you adorn with bags of dog poo, and the many thousand year old tors that you impressively transform into rubbish bins. The importance of these historic landscapes may be drifting from our minds as we go about our busy lives but they were here before us and deserve to remain long after we are gone. If only we could find it in us to show a little more reverence and take our litter home.

Lorna Mann, October 2020

A crisp packet in undergrowth