On Sunday March 10 the Woking Litter Warriors returned to Burdenshott Road for our third group litter pick of 2024. This was almost exactly one year after our last visit on the occasion of the Surrey Half Marathon and we were staggered by the sheer amount of litter on this countrified back road.

The March 2023 litter pick, which also took in other parts of the Surrey Half Marathon route, including Smarts Heath Lane, Saunders Lane, New Lane, Sutton Green Road, Blanchards Hill and Clay Lane, generated a total of 43 bags of rubbish from the entire route that we had covered.

On the most recent litterpick the team collected 36 bags of assorted trash along Burdenshott Road alone and although we don't have a specific count for the same stretch of road last year, it was most likely to have been in the low teens. The collection on March 10 represents a probable tripling of the amount of rubbish in 12 months over a distance of a little more than a mile.

This recalls a visit the Litter Warriors made to Guildford Road last autumn, when a smaller group of volunteers collected more bags of rubbish than they had during their previous litter pick on the same stretch of road. In addition, there was a massive collection of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) canisters found discarded on the more recent visit.

I really think that something more needs to be done in terms of surveillance or enforcement as, on the evidence of our litter picks, the littering problem around the borough is getting worse rather than better.

It is very disheartening for our volunteers to see that, not only has their previous work been undone, but that it's been undone in such extreme fashion with an even greater volume of rubbish left lying around.

If you are interested in joining the Litter Warriors, we meet as a group roughly once or twice a month in the Woking area, rain or shine. We can be found on Facebook at Woking Litter Warriors (WLW), on Instagram at wokinglitterwarriors or alternatively you can email us at [email protected].

Lauren Horncastle

Woking Litter Warriors