Litter-picking in Leicestershire is in full swing with the problem growing since lockdown began

By Maria Regina Santos Semedo

An army of litter-pickers are busy across Leicestershire to tackle the huge problem which has been growing across the country since lockdown began.

Being stuck at home as a consequence of the pandemic, people find themselves walking around more, ordering takeaways, and enjoying every chance they have to hang out outdoors, leaving their rubbish behind.

The growing problem made groups all over Leicestershire stand up and do something about it – literally with their own hands.

A member of Coleorton Litter Wombles, a team dedicated to keeping the countryside clean and litter-free, said: “Mainly due to people having more time on their hands, groups have decided to tackle the problem as the council does not have the manpower to help.”

The ‘wombling’ group have been going for a long time, but lockdown has made the litter problem much worse.

Some people go out daily while others go at weekends when they have spare time. The Leicestershire County Council, for example, provides ‘womblers’ with a kit to help keep them safe.

The council published on its website details about the initiative and how to apply, saying: “We appreciate the dedication these groups have to keep Leicestershire litter-free and protect our environment and are proud to offer them this initiative.”

The penalty for someone littering can go up to £2,500, but several members of this group think that to make people get better educated about the effects of throwing rubbish and how it destroys the wildlife, heavier fines and punishments need to be handed out to the offenders.

The Environment Protection Team is committed to look after the physical environment and providing information for future generations by offering free workshops tackling littering, graffiti issues, and several other matters.

Each area of Leicester has its own Facebook page and they are open to anyone to join, the project being supported by the district and county councils.

Anyyone can organise their own litter-picks or just join an existing one in their closest area. It is also possible to be a Green Footprints Litter Picker, by emailing customer.service@nwleicestershire.gov.uk or call 01530 454545, quoting “Community Litter Pick” or “Green Footprints Litter Picker”.

Coleorton Litter Wombles litter-picking

De Montfort University student appears on panel to launch Festival of teaching 2021

By Luke Williamson

A student at De Montfort University appeared on the launch panel of the Festival of Teaching yesterday alongside guests including Leicester mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby.

Thomas Carter, a second-year Journalism student, was invited by the Student Ambassador team to discuss the difficulties of being a student in the pandemic.

Thomas, 20, said: “We spoke about what we can learn from the pandemic, and how we can improve the future opportunities for graduates in the city.

“I said that there is an importance that the Government and local Government start some graduate schemes to keep the students in Leicester rather than just passing through the universities.

“Students also want to hear more plans from the Governments if they have them because we do feel like we have been left behind during this time.”

As well as the city’s mayor, Thomas joined Professor Jackie Labbe, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic at DMU, and Mark Charlton, Associate Director of Public Engagement at DMU, discussing the power of teaching during the pandemic.

Thomas said: “Online learning was a topic we discussed and the difficulties that we have faced.

“For me, online exams have been the most difficult things to adapt to, but we have all adapted really well to the changes.

“Attendance has improved which is a brilliant thing, but students and staff do need to talk more between themselves to make it better for everyone.”

The panel took questions from the audience to share their expertise, and it was important to Thomas that the audience got to hear the student perspective rather than adults guessing what students are going through.

And the mayor’s appearance impressed Thomas too.

“For the mayor to be there, it showed the togetherness of the city in these times of such adversity,” he said.

The lineup of events for the Festival of Teaching can be found here.

Also read.

Annual celebration of creative teaching at DMU continues until March 25

‘Marie, I Love U, Diego’ – The mysterious displays of affection around Leicester

By Abigail Beresford

Mysterious displays of affection have been found on various walls around Leicester by an unknown ‘Diego’ to his love ‘Marie’.

Various written murals have caught the eyes of people throughout the city, plastered on walls.

The unique profession of love has become the centre of a creative project that has become an exhibition that has been featured at the LCB Depot’s window gallery.

Photographer, Josie Parr, turned the messages into a photography collection titled ‘Love Notes (2020)’ to document the display of affection.

The unanswered question remains – does the love story between Marie and Diego continue?

For more information on the exhibition, visit linktr.ee/lcbdepot.

Love is all around, written murals found all around Leicester

Survey reopened to help government tackle violence against women and girls

by Abigail Beresford

The Home Office has released an online open consultation to people in England and Wales to help the development of the government’s Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

All genders in England and Wales are being encouraged to participate in the survey, to help inform the development of the government’s next Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.

“We are particularly keen to hear from people who may feel underrepresented in previous strategies or who feel their circumstances were not supported by existing services,” said the Home Office.

YouGov conducted a survey which found that 97 per cent of women between the ages of 18-24 said they had been sexually harassed, whilst 80 per cent of all ages said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces.

Since the release of this shocking statistic, YouGov has reopened the survey to encourage more girls and women to participate, to depict the reality of how often sexual harassment occurs.

Everyone aged over 16 years old and of various genders are being encouraged to participate in the survey.

To participate in the survey, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/violence-against-women-and-girls-vawg-call-for-evidence.

Resident furious over dog mess filling street in Rushey Mead

By Ben Stevens

A resident in the Rushey Mead area of Leicester was furious over increasing amounts of dog mess being left on the streets.

Jane Richardson says dog owners are being ‘disrespectful’ by leaving their dog’s mess right in front of people’s houses in Roseneath Avenue.

Whilst people have been out walking their dogs more as part of their daily exercise permitted under COVID-19 restrictions, Jane says this has led to a stark increase in people not clearing up after their pets.

‘It has definitely got a lot worse over the past three months or so during the COVID lockdown’.

She adds: ‘It is just awful to think that people watch their dogs do their business and don’t even think to clean up after them.’

The area is popular with dog walkers as there is a field at the end of the road which Jane says seems to make the problem worse.

‘I have two big dogs myself and I would never dream of leaving its mess on the streets for somebody to step in.

‘It’s being left right outside of people’s front gates so you can barely leave the house without having to step over it’.

Jane says though she is not the only one on the street who is fed up with people not picking up their dog’s mess. One of her neighbours put a big sign up outside of their house asking people to clean up after their dogs which has since been removed.