Residents urge Ettrick Valley visitors to clean up their act

Ettrick Valley litter-picker Gilly Dewberry
Ettrick Valley litter-picker Gilly Dewberry

Kirkhope Environmental Group (KEG), supported by Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council, is helping raise awareness of the blight of roadside litter and encouraging everyone who travels up the Ettrick Valley to “give litter a lift and take it home”.

More than 20 volunteers joined forces last weekend to clean up the roadside verges in the whole of the valley, from the outskirts of Selkirk to Potburn – a stretch of about 25 miles.

KEG is a small group of Ettrickbridge residents who have got together with the aim of reducing the use of plastic in society, as well as making sure that plastic and other rubbish are not left on the roadside.

KEG organised the litter-pick and was supported by the local community council, as well as volunteers from the whole valley.

Linda Jackson, who is part of KEG, said: “Now that we have lifted all of the litter from the verges, we want to ask everyone travelling in our valley to please take their litter home.”

She added: “This is a beautiful area and it is very disappointing in this day and age that people think it is OK to throw rubbish out of their cars onto the verges.”

In areas of woodland beside the road near Selkirk, the litter-pickers came across a number of filled dog-poo bags.

Gilly Dewberry (pictured) said: “As a dog owner myself, it is hard believe that people will collect up after their dog, but not take it home.”

Volunteer Miranda Alcock said: “Some of the litter we collected was from energy products which are often used by cyclists.

“There is brilliant road cycling in the Ettrick Valley and we are very happy that cyclists want to come and share our amazing scenery and terrain. Most cyclists behave responsibly while they are here, but we need them all to take their wrappers and drinks bottles home with them.”

KEG’s future plans include developing signage to encourage people to take their litter home and looking at ways of increasing the rate of recycling activity in the local area.