There’s a little road on the West side of Sheffield that parallels part of Endcliffe Park. The road dips from the N, W, and E to its lowest point at a stepway in to the park. Every time there is a combination of strong winds and heavy rain, the leaves fill the one drain and a small lake about 8m long and up to 50cm deep forms. And nobody does anything about it. And i accept that housing, starving, and education are higher priorities for the stretched resources of the council. And i don my wellies and try, about a dozen times a year, to clear the pond – principally because it impacts access to the park (i live about 1km away but i walk my dog in it), and because walkers coming up the steps run the risk of being soaked as the pond covers the pavement as well.

Anyway, this is what i’ve learnt: 1/ Nobody in the dozen houses opposite helps. Ever. 2/ Nobody in a car stops to help. 3/ 70+% of all car drivers can’t see the 1000 lumen torch i’m wearing. 4/ 95% of all SUVs driven by men see going through the pond as fast as possible to be a test of their manliness and cannot possibly slow down despite there being a well lit human stood in the pond. 5/ 100% of all small cars with a young driver and loud exhausts (plural) need to swerve through the pond. 6/ Five minutes with a stick creates enough space in the leaf matter blocking the drain to allow a third of the standing water to escape thereby providing dry acces to and from the park, and a dry lane down the road for cars.

And every time i clear the pond i see a behavioural link between not being bothered about clearing the drain (or whether someone clearing the drain gets soaked by your driving), and not being bothered about whether there was, for example, a party in Downing Street on 18.12.20, and just not being bothered.

Just a thought ….

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