Our City's Shame
Talk a walk down the High Street, around Princesshay, Rougemont Gardens and I'm pleased to say that ninety nine percent of the time Exeter, our beautiful city is clean and litter free. This is how it should be right? We want to attract visitors, increase tourism and wealth. The way to do that is to send them away happy so that they tell their friends and spread the word. This is the place to be, there is so much to see an do in this thriving city, with two thousand years of history, it's the cultural centre of the South West and one of England's best kept secrets.
Away from the High Street, you can still shop and enjoy cafe society as you walk along the Quay. There you'll find the old Custom House, Transit Shed and eateries quaint traditonal and stylish modern. The river area is part of Exeter's Green Circle, a twelve mile walk within the city boundaries, but taking you through valleys that feel miles from the hustle of town.
And that's where my problem lies. I'm a regular walker of the River Valley Park area, taking in the canal as well. Of course we have had some pretty extreme weather recently so the usual clean ups may not have taken place, but what I saw today doesn't appear overnight. Take a walk down Salmonpool Lane, cross the field to the river bank and look in either direction. Rubbish. Clinging to the branches growing low over the water, endless plastic carrier bags, just waiting for the wind to blow them into the river, to pollute our waterways and harm our wild birds and fish. I suspect this is an accumulation from many months, that thas been exposed by the bad weather and bare winter trees. Even worse, I saw many little black bags adorning trees and bushes where they have been tossed becauae people couldn't be bothered to carrry them a hundred yards, to the next DOG LITTER BIN. Do they not realise that more damage is caused to the environment by the wrapping their dog poo in plastic than by leaving it?
It gets worse, a couple of weeks ago the overflow area by the swing bridge was flooded, today the water level is back to normal, leaving a clear view of four supermarket shopping trollies. How do they get there? I can only assume that it is the antics of late night revellers.
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I don't understand why people feel it necessary to trash their city, what happened to good old fashioned respect? Perhaps these people would prefer to live somewhere different? Somewhere less . . . beautiful Exeter.