Slow Ways

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simonineaston
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby simonineaston » 19 Oct 2020, 2:41pm

Don't mind doing that - in fact I usually do, when out for a walk, but I'm not touching the black bags that dog owners throw into the bushes! (It's about this time of year that the full glory of all the chucked black bags is revealed, as the leaves start to come off them's that's deciduous...)
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pwa
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby pwa » 19 Oct 2020, 4:07pm

Cowsham wrote:I'm all in favor of this but I'd go a little further in having some sort of practical help to make the concept more long term viable. Would it work to suggest each participant walking would carry a small bag to pick up one small bags worth of litter along the way. --- not so much that it would inconvenience each walker but cumulative bags would help to keep the countryside cleaner and keep walkers welcomed. Not a condition of using the trail but merely a request.

The kind of people who would volunteer for something like this are not the sort who need to be told about the desirability of not littering. I already pick litter in my own street when I see it. If you want to spread awareness you need to be doing it with other parts of society.

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Re: Slow Ways

Postby Cowsham » 19 Oct 2020, 10:57pm

pwa wrote:
Cowsham wrote:I'm all in favor of this but I'd go a little further in having some sort of practical help to make the concept more long term viable. Would it work to suggest each participant walking would carry a small bag to pick up one small bags worth of litter along the way. --- not so much that it would inconvenience each walker but cumulative bags would help to keep the countryside cleaner and keep walkers welcomed. Not a condition of using the trail but merely a request.

The kind of people who would volunteer for something like this are not the sort who need to be told about the desirability of not littering. I already pick litter in my own street when I see it. If you want to spread awareness you need to be doing it with other parts of society.


I don't mean picking up your own litter as you rightly say the type of people won't generally litter but picking up the litter others leave.

A lot of those trails and footpaths will, if they are not new 'slow ways ' will be trod by all sorts.

I find that if the cretins that tend to litter see no litter then that seems to discourage them from their filthy habit though there's will be the regular dirty clats. We have a problem over here in ni with litter, the roads and paths I cycle to work on have grass verges claried with litter. Maybe it's not such a problem on the mainland.

pwa
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby pwa » 20 Oct 2020, 7:22am

Cowsham wrote:
pwa wrote:
Cowsham wrote:I'm all in favor of this but I'd go a little further in having some sort of practical help to make the concept more long term viable. Would it work to suggest each participant walking would carry a small bag to pick up one small bags worth of litter along the way. --- not so much that it would inconvenience each walker but cumulative bags would help to keep the countryside cleaner and keep walkers welcomed. Not a condition of using the trail but merely a request.

The kind of people who would volunteer for something like this are not the sort who need to be told about the desirability of not littering. I already pick litter in my own street when I see it. If you want to spread awareness you need to be doing it with other parts of society.


I don't mean picking up your own litter as you rightly say the type of people won't generally litter but picking up the litter others leave.

A lot of those trails and footpaths will, if they are not new 'slow ways ' will be trod by all sorts.

I find that if the cretins that tend to litter see no litter then that seems to discourage them from their filthy habit though there's will be the regular dirty clats. We have a problem over here in ni with litter, the roads and paths I cycle to work on have grass verges claried with litter. Maybe it's not such a problem on the mainland.

In my own area there will be relatively little litter on the paths and lanes likely to be chosen as the links between communities. You get small amounts of wind-blown litter in all sorts of places, but deliberate littering around here is less common and is usually takeaway (McD / KFC) dropped out of car windows. There is nothing wrong with picking up other people's rubbish but it won't stop repeat littering out of car windows. People who do that just don't care.

But asking people to think about litter while they are doing a voluntary survey is, I think, a distraction. It won't make a difference that anyone will notice. You won't have floods of people who aren't normally there out on the paths and lanes. They will be the same people who are normally there, just doing slightly different walks. And some, like me, will already be picking up the odd bit of wind blown litter to drop in the next bin they past.

Many years ago I organised a litter pick on shared use paths between former industrial communities, and we had lots of enthusiastic families turn up. They did make it look a lot better. When I go back there these days there is a lot less litter, so I think the message has got through. It feels as though people now recognise that without the dirty industry present they actually have a really nice place to live if they just don't mess it up. One amusing problem we had on that day, in the late 1990s, was that I had two skips deposited a couple of hours before the event, and as they were at either end of a shared use former rail line trail I could not supervise both. After only half an hour of being there one of them was more than filled with household items including a wardrobe! At the time it was annoying but I laugh when I think about it now. And that location is now a green and mostly cared for place.

millimole
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby millimole » 20 Oct 2020, 8:19am

To amplify a point made by pwa - I'm part of a group of volunteers who litter pick a section of canal, since we started removing the stuff, the amount has reduced dramatically.
I think that the less litter people see, the less likely they are to drop it. (does not apply to McD litter thrown out of car windows though)
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby Cyril Haearn » 20 Oct 2020, 8:49am

Simple solution at the drive-in: the registration mark of the vehicle could be printed on the packing :wink:
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pwa
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby pwa » 20 Oct 2020, 8:52am

Cyril Haearn wrote:Simple solution at the drive-in: the registration mark of the vehicle could be printed on the packing :wink:

There's a thought.

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Re: Slow Ways

Postby sjs » 20 Oct 2020, 9:07am

mjr wrote:And my general dislike of the OS is described in other threads, so I'll just limit it here to saying that their vague red diamonds at 300m intervals for long-distance paths are rubbish, so I hope they do better than that if Slow Ways ever actually launch. (Compare it with the solid primary colours OS use for motoring routes.)


I have no problem with the red (green on the maps I use for walking) diamonds, since they are usually connected by the standard dashes indicating a right of way. It's the pub symbols that are really rubbish.

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simonineaston
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby simonineaston » 20 Oct 2020, 2:39pm

Talking about rubbish, I used to go for a walk round a loop out the back of my old office after lunch, in an often vain attempt to aid the digestion of the canteen faire. The loop runs parallel to the grounds of a local secondary school, so there was a ton of litter chucked there by the pupils. Then evey once in a while, a small group of individuals from the same school, led by a teacher, would do the loop and clear up the mess, into black plastic bags. There you have society in miniature... :roll:
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Cowsham
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby Cowsham » 20 Oct 2020, 8:45pm

millimole wrote:To amplify a point made by pwa - I'm part of a group of volunteers who litter pick a section of canal, since we started removing the stuff, the amount has reduced dramatically.
I think that the less litter people see, the less likely they are to drop it. (does not apply to McD litter thrown out of car windows though)



This is exactly what I mean -- if the place is kept clean it tends to attract less litter -- I also think if the slow ways walkers did that it would make them more welcome by people, councils or trusts who own the land thus possibly making more routes available.

pwa
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby pwa » 20 Oct 2020, 10:59pm

Cowsham wrote:
millimole wrote:To amplify a point made by pwa - I'm part of a group of volunteers who litter pick a section of canal, since we started removing the stuff, the amount has reduced dramatically.
I think that the less litter people see, the less likely they are to drop it. (does not apply to McD litter thrown out of car windows though)



This is exactly what I mean -- if the place is kept clean it tends to attract less litter -- I also think if the slow ways walkers did that it would make them more welcome by people, councils or trusts who own the land thus possibly making more routes available.

I have volunteered to survey paths on my patch and I won't need any special welcome from landowners to use what will be lanes and public rights of way. I walk and cycle these routes anyway. And to be honest, any litter picking I could do around here would go unnoticed. There isn't much at all on the paths and lanes in the countryside here, so the idea of removing litter to deter further littering fails on two counts. Not much litter in the first place, and little chance of much litter in the near future even if the existing litter is left. But more than that, this would be a distraction from the main purpose. And it would have no lasting effect. A week later any path that normally gets littered would be back to normal. It could be suggested that path users pick litter as they go, just as you could suggest all on this Forum stop to pick litter on their rides, but I would go no further than that. They should keep it as a simple survey and avoid lecturing folk (who are already very much not litterers) on the subject of littering.

The theory that keeping an area clean discourages littering is as old as the hills, and there may be something to it. But for around fifteen years I was in charge of the day-to-day maintenance of an area of parkland, and keeping on top of litter was part of that. We worked on the assumption that the cleaner you make it, the less likely someone will be to drop litter. But in all those years I cannot say that I noticed a strong reduction of littering at that site. No matter how clean we kept it from Monday to Friday, when we came in to work on Monday morning it would be a mess.

But this is a side issue. Slow Ways is not a littler project, and I wonder what it is really hoping to achieve. Don't local people already know the best way to walk to neighbouring communities? Are they envisaging strangers to an area using an online map to thread their way across an area they don't know, perhaps making up their own long distance routes?

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Re: Slow Ways

Postby Cowsham » 21 Oct 2020, 8:04am

I don't mean it to be a litter project just a suggestion to non litterers to lift one small bag of litter -- you may be very lucky that people appreciate the land they live in but it seems the people here don't.

We have great scenery and a beautiful wild coastline but the residents here don't appreciate it or see the longer game where we may depend on a higher level of tourism in the future. The way the place is now I can't see why anyone would want to come here.

If slow ways opened up more pathways in England I'd imagine you'd want to keep them open but if farmers land starts getting filthy with litter then the project will get a bad name and drop out of favor.

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Re: Slow Ways

Postby simonineaston » 21 Oct 2020, 8:43am

pwa wrote: I wonder what it is really hoping to achieve.
I'm slightly puzzled too, however I think the explanation is fairly straightforward. Dan Raven-Ellison, the chap behind the initiative, is effectively a free-lance adventurer. The quote below is from Dan's website:
Dan R-E wrote:My work focuses on challenging myself and others to see the world in new ways.
Like most such folk, he needs to constantly come up with ideas to persue in order to be seen to be adventurous! I've heard Sir Ranulph Fiennes talk at length about this subject. They're like sharks - they can't stay still! :wink:
As such, his website lists various initiatives - Slow Ways, a short film - UK National Parks in 100 Seconds and speaking. Fair play to the bloke if he thinks he can make a living, doing what he loves to do. I imagine he think Slow Ways is an aim worth persuing and that enough people will think likewise. He may even have plans to benefit from it financially in some way or other - who can blame him - a chap's got to pay the bills! I'm thinking here of Jack Thurston's Lost Lanes series, that came off the back of his cycling blog. Similar idea. Time will tell whether enough people share his undoubted enthusiasm.
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millimole
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby millimole » 21 Oct 2020, 8:55am

The litter issue is a distraction.

I guess the Slow Ways concept is analogous to the National Cycleway Network - a linked network of routes between major areas. Other routes are available.
Which brings me neatly to a question : Isn't Slow Ways what Sustrans should be doing? Or have they given up on Sustainable Transport (including walking) to concentrate purely on cycle routes?
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simonineaston
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Re: Slow Ways

Postby simonineaston » 21 Oct 2020, 10:06am

(As someone who donates monthly to Sustrans, I'm not exactly sure what they are doing these days... !)
EDIT: there is rather more info on this page on the OS' website, than there is in the Slow Ways website.
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