This week marks a significant shift here in the UK; his Saturday marks the Northern Hemisphere's Autumn Equinox; a time traditionally for celebrating the conclusion of the harvest, marking the formal end of summer and the shift to darker and more reflective days.
Here at Trash Free Trails we too are experiencing a shift; from a summer of exploring and adventuring and into an autumn of sharing all that we've learned along the way. We're delighted today to be sharing the State of Our Trails Report Preview. This year's upcoming SoOT Report will be our most comprehensive to date, covering over three year's of data collection by over 2,000 volunteers; it's our biggest Report to date, so instead of bottling it all up for a single release we're going to be sharing as much of the data with you as possible over the coming months.
The State of Our Trails Report is our heartstone project; we know we need to better understand the big picture of single-use pollution on our trails to be able to inform system change. We also know that we can collect all the data in the world, but you our volunteers are those who have the most power to create change. So this autumn we're turning our attention towards the future to protect our trails for years to come, and with this release we're inviting you to do the same.
About The State of Our Trails Report Preview
Now, 'why a Preview?' you might ask. The full Report, coming later this Autumn, is raring up to be unlike any we've produced before. But we know we wouldn't be where we are without the time and commitment our volunteers have given over the last three years to removing single-use pollution from the places we love. The Report Preview, gives you a firsthand insight into how your contributions fit into a bigger picture. It includes not only round ups of some of the data we've collected on the prevelence, distribution and impacts of single-use pollution, but a unique Interactive Data Map where you can look at your local area, and see the positive contribution you and other volunteers have made.
Credit: Pete Scullion
What's In The Report Preview?
Alongside recording the removal of 216,466 individual items of terrestrial pollution
by volunteers, the State of Our Trails Report Preview begins to showcase the profound impact trash is having on fauna. Over 30% of recorded items showcased
interactions with animals, with 2⁄3 of these resulting in death.
Lucoazade was named the most common branded item found amongst litter
recorded. The State of Our Trails Report is the only single-use pollution survey that
conducts brand audits, showcasing the vital work Trash Free Trails are doing to
ensure the responsibility they hold is not overlooked.
What More Can I Do?
We might sound a bit repetitive, but keep submitting your data. The more data we continue to collect, the more detailed picture we can create of single-use pollution and it's impact on our trails and wild places. With this we can rally effect positive change (more on this in the full Report release)
We're also encouraging you to write to your MP and send them the Interactive Data Map. The UK political parties are gearing up for next year's General Election, and we want to see more parties promising to better protect local green spaces.
And don't forget to share the Interactive Data Map on your social media!