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We are the tide, but how big is the wave?

The 2023 State of Our Trails Report Preview is a chance for you to experience the data collected over the last three years by our community on the state of Single Use Pollution on our trails and wild places.


We believe this is one of the most comprehensive summaries of data on terrestrial pollution, or 'litter', in the UK to date.

The image on the background of this page showing Yr Wyddfa has been created from 216,466 individual dots.


The same number as the amount of trash removed from our wild places by you, our volunteers, over the past four years*.


If each piece of trash was stacked end-to-end it would reach the top of Yr Wyddfa.


Twenty times.

*This number increases every day.

Data can be difficult, but each number here represents an individual taking action to protect their trails. What will you do with it?

It all starts with an idea and the State of our Trails is a simple, compelling one. We’re learning more about plastic pollution in the ocean all the time, yet know very little about the state of our forests, parks and trails, despite huge numbers of us using these spaces every day.

As citizen scientists and allies of the natural world,

we can be pioneers in

this struggle

for a solution.

The collection of data allowing comparison and analysis across different locations is a key piece of the puzzle. Gathering consistent, independent data, as well as auditing common brands and materials, can help create corporate accountability, drive meaningful change and, ultimately, reclaim the natural spaces we love from pollution.

Christina Dixon

Environmental Investigation Agency



Scientific data can often be

inaccessible and viewed as

lacking human emotion.

The data within the Trash Free Trails State of our Trails report is anything but. Every row in a spreadsheet relates to an individual person. It describes the time they spent on the trails, the trash they removed, the brands they saw, the wildlife they saved, and the pride they felt in doing all of this.

This is a summary of their

stories over the past 4 years.

People Spent

Of Trails across

Minutes Cleaning

Locations World Wide



Total Trash Items Removed

Mapped Paths
Most Cleaned Trail Type

Car Parks
Most Littered Area

Most Cleaned Trail


28% of Yr Wydffa SUP was found in a 300m radius of the Summit.




Top Brand*

*No other Single Use Pollution Survey

find energy drinks in their brand audits.

This is unique to our trails.




Would take part again*

*Almost everyone. 99.9% said yes.

We are the tide, but how big is the wave?

The below is an Interactive Data Map for you to explore. Much like a map you might use to plan your adventures, this Map shows you some of the data highlights from the Report Preview.

You can explore three tabs, found at the bottom of the panel: Who, What and Why.

These tabs showcase different data from across our research: information about our community of citizen scientists; the composition of trash and its impacts; and the levels of nature connection in trail clean participants.


In each Tab you can explore a local as well as national picture. Simply type in the first two digits of a postcode or click or area to see how much trash has been removed and its composition.

Explore the Data Map, and let us know what you think on our social media.

Last updated August 2023

Take Action


This is a live Map, and YOU can help us create the most comprehensive view of terrestrial pollution to date. Head out on a trail clean using the DIO toolkit, and submit your data.


Right now the UK political parties are gearing up for next year's general election. Be the voice for your trails and send the Map to your MP, stating your concerns for its wellbeing and what you want to see their party doing about it.

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