Cleaning up our city will not only make it look nice ... it will save animals' lives
THE Derby Telegraph's campaign to spruce up our city is being backed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust – which says litter is a "death trap" for animals and birds.
Our Clean Up Derby campaign – which wants to see people take more responsibility for their rubbish and make sure they use bins – was launched in November.
And the trust is supporting it in the hope of reducing the toll that large amounts of rubbish take on local wildlife.
Nick Brown, from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said that not only does litter look unsightly, but it is also hazardous to animals.
He said: "Broken glass cuts the feet of mammals, such as foxes and badgers, and whole bottles form a death-trap for smaller creatures, including shrews and mice that can get inside but then can't escape. Plastic bottles and metal cans can be dangerous for small mammals – even hedgehogs can be trapped in them.
"They crawl in looking for food remains but their spines prevent them from backing out."
He added that plastic holders used to fasten multiple cans together were a "real menace" to birds.
"They get them round their necks and can get strangled by them," he said.
"Water birds using city parks and rivers can be at risk. Swans, herons and ducks can get caught up in plastic waste, and swans, in particular, seem to get tangled in discarded fishing lines."
Mr Brown said that animals which come into contact with litter can suffer a very slow and painful death.
He added that there were some simple steps which could be taken to protect wildlife.
"Clean out tins and cans so they don't attract wildlife looking for food inside them," he said.
"Also, remember to take your dog's waste home in a plastic bag. Never discard these bags before you get to a dog waste disposal box.
"Don't discard any poisonous liquids, like sump oil or solvents, and always cut up plastic multi-pack holders before throwing them in the bin."
Since the launch of Clean Up Derby, several rubbish hot spots have been cleaned up. These have included the car park of the William Caxton pub in Sunny Hill, parts of Friar Gate and an old Rolls-Royce car park in Nightingale Road.
There is cross-party support for the campaign at the city council after Councillor Chris Poulter proposed a motion for the whole authority to back it.