Trash Free Trails project calls on walkers, runners and cyclists to take part in countryside clean-ups
Dom Ferris is a man who is building a career out of rubbish. He used to be responsible for organising beach cleans for Surfers Against Sewage. While working there, the Cornwall-based surfer and mountain biker saw many of the issues that he was dealing with on beaches replicated on cycle trails. But there was one key difference: while a proportion of beach rubbish is washed up by the tide, the litter found in the countryside is overwhelmingly (with the odd notable exception, such as fly-tipping) left by its users. It was this realisation that spurred Ferris and a couple of like-minded friends to set up Trash Free Trails (TFT) in 2017.
The news that the litter problem has got worse since lockdown eased is depressing. But Ferris is keen to look for the positives. A recent study has shown that the more individuals visit nature for recreation, the more pro-environmental their behaviours become.