With Brockwell Park being used more during the coronavirus pandemic there has been a ten-fold increase in litter left by park users creating an additional challenge for the Park’s officers to keep on top of. In addition, park funding has been reduced as a result of ten years of central government cuts to council funding. So as it moves to become more self-sufficient, volunteering in the Park is increasingly key to the very survival of the park and green spaces.
Recently, whilst Will Goodchild (who lives in Tulse Hill) was jogging around Brockwell Park he kept on passing the same piles of rubbish every day. Rather than do nothing or moan about it he decided to get a litter picker and cleared it up sections at a time. Will started a regular volunteering session that quickly took on a new lease of life as others began to hear about what he was doing through social media. Volunteers led by Will now meet every Sunday at 11.00am at the Clock Tower in Brockwell Park to litter pick in different areas.
Brockwell Park’s officer team supports the volunteers by providing equipment and PPE to keep people safe and Will has been joined by volunteers aged from 6 years-old to 70 years-old – one session attracting nearly 25 people. Marcia, as a local Councillor and Chair of Brockwell Park Strategic Partnership Board, even took our local MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, down for a session and to meet Will and his team. Extinction Rebellion has been in the news recently, including when they set up camp in Brockwell Park where they also took part in volunteering with litter picking.
The volunteers who give up their time on a Sunday are our Park heroes as they help to keep our park clean from the harm that litter causes as it alters the physical and chemical environment. The decomposition of litter may release substances into the soil that are harmful or poisonous to plants and the physical changes produced by litter also alters the activity of decomposers and insects, resulting in a indirect detrimental effect on the environment. We are very thankful to Will and his volunteers. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for future consultations on how people can get involved in volunteering in Brockwell Park.