NO-ONE who walks, cycles or drives on Britain’s roads can have failed to notice the vast quantities of litter appearing on the verges.

Aside from the question of why it is there in the first place (what kind of person thinks it is acceptable to use the countryside as a litter bin?), why is nothing done about it?

Years ago you would regularly see people on community service clearing banks and verges, filling bags which were, presumably, collected later by council refuse collectors.

Not any more. I imagine some health and safety executive has deemed it too dangerous or too costly to supervise. We cannot, however, let the situation continue. I have a suggestion which could not only help to clean up our lovely rural roads, but also provide fresh air, exercise and a purpose to anyone who is compelled by current circumstances to stay at home and practise “social distancing”. We could call it “social mobilising”.

The picture here shows litter that I alone have picked up on four walks in the last six weeks on the same two, very quiet, approach roads into Marton, near Kirkbymoorside.

A sobering image that illustrates the problem, I think you’ll agree. All

I used was a litter picker bought online for a few pounds, and bin bags, which I emptied into my recycling boxes.

Although it always makes me cross to see the same items appearing repeatedly, it is quite a satisfying activity. So why not give it a go? Choose a road to adopt, get yourself kitted up (a high vis vest is probably wise) and have a go. Who knows, we might even get recognised and assisted by the council.

Sue Styles, Marton

Thanks to councils

I READ with interest in the Gazette & Herald about the relaxing of parking enforcement across Ryedale.

I am sure this will be welcomed by our key workers with thanks and people working from home.

As the majority of Ryedale residents will be self isolating, it is a comfort to know when we have to nip out to the shops, especially where it is difficult to park because there are restrictions in force, we won’t have to worry about a parking attendant.

Of course, sensible parking is required and also not to take advantage of the relaxed parking enforcement, which I’m sure we will adhere to. All people want to do is their shop, jump back into the car and back home, keeping social distance. Thank you NYCC and district and borough councils in these difficult times.

Ann Searle, Pickering

Convict hoarders

RE: Hoarding. Perhaps it is now time for our Government to stamp very hard on those who are buying up all they can to strip the shops of comestibles. I have tried to find a suitable word to describe such selfish humans (?) and it seems that the English language does not have any such word. If it does it can only be one which publishers are reluctant to print.

Any such person, on summary conviction, must face a minimum fine of £1,000 plus court and prosecution costs; a subscription to charitable help services commensurate with the magnitude of their sin and confiscation of their hoard for distribution to the needy.

Anyone found to be black-marketeering to be given a non-negotiable prison sentence, say a minimum of five years.

This would not stop the activity but it might slow it down, and, if the perpetrators are publicly identified they might feel a little contrition for they are not deserving of pity.

David Loxley, Pickering