contains swearing !!
Saturday morning, on my walk ong Stanage i spied two lots of ‘wild campers’. A glance through a long camera lens suggested one lot were packing out everything they’d brought in, and one lot weren’t. I watched the second lot, four young men, taking pictures of each other, shirts off, on the Edge.
My experience told me that those four weren’t the taking-it-home type.
I was busy the rest of the weekend, and didn’t get chance to have a look until this afternoon.
From the Edge all looked well. But again i just sensed it wouldn’t be. I wandered down the ‘back o’ Stanage’ on to White Path Moss. 300m North of the trig point there is a small stream that doesn’t go anywhere, you can see it from a distance as a distinct change in the colour of the ground to a darker lusher green. I wandered down to it and near a small pool saw hare, grouse, frog, butterflies, dragonflies, and a dozen or more bird species. Beyond them something caught my eye glinting in the sun.
They’d taken the tent and the poles.
They’d left everything else.
Human waste. 5 or 6 kilos of chicken breast (marked ‘halal’). 2 dozen unused duck eggs. A fire pit. A dozen Budweiser bottles. Cooked and raw chicken wings. A bottle of oil. A bottle of peri peri sauce. Tent pegs. 10 litres of bottled water. A fire grill. More human waste. Packets of gum rub tobacco. Six half eaten mangos. Half a bin bag of used plates. Two unused bin bags. Four limes. An unopened bag of bbq coal. Etc etc etc.
The outdoor gear shop in Hathersage has a ‘crag clean up’ event on Saturday 13th August. I wondered whether cleaning up this f’ing mess would qualify me for a burger there.
I loaded it in to the empty rucksack i had brought. The smell from the meat, and the acoompanying thousand flies, was proper grim. I emptied the water out, and managed to squeeze everything in.
(There are a few sentences in the Uni of Derby online ((and free) Nature Connectedness course about the negative impact on ones enjoyment of the outdoors if all you ever do is observe the negative …. apparently the progression of these recurring observation habits is you become less ‘willing’ to go to the places you enjoy !!)
The rucksack f’ing stunk and weighed a ton. As i headed off towards the Edge a hundred flies were in my hair and ears. Grim. I paused by the trig point and took the rucksack off for 5 minutes to remove myself from the stench.
I walked off back to the car. Sweating like a sweaty thing. I couldn’t think or or find anywhere to get rid of 20kg of food and human waste.
I cleaned myself up with wet wipes and went for a walk around Longshaw up to Tumbling Hill. Leaving ‘that’ rucksack in the car in the sun wasn’t my brightest idea. When i got back the smell in the car nearly made me puke.
In my day job i am involved in efforts to connect ‘people to the countryside’ and in the commubication effort to encourage people to ‘protect, respect and enjoy’ the countryside. Along with many other agencies and organisations in the Peak i do my best. But there’ll always be people who think that leaving large quantities of rubbish, waste, and pollution in the countryside is okay. I believe that they go to the countryside not because the space and the abundance of nature calls to them, but because the space afforda them the privacy to behave in a way which their families simply would not tolerate at home.
Take your shit home. Please.