Halloween is meant to be a scary time of the year… exactly what is scary about it probably depends on your outlook. Is it the ghosts and ghouls or is it the commercialisation of pagan festival? Maybe now’s not the time to get into that discussion and instead, let’s find something that we can all agree on...
You know what really is scary? Litter. Single use pollution (as we prefer to call it) haunts our trails and wild places. Long after their useful life has passed, the ghosts of drinks bottles, crisps packets, inner tubes and gel sachets lurk in the dark corners of the woods waiting to jump out and spoil our day.
And here’s the thing… it really does spoil everyone’s day. We use our green spaces to escape the world and reconnect with nature and the outdoors. Single use pollution has a detrimental impact on that; we’ve got the evidence in our State of Our Trails Report. What’s more, it’s not just our enjoyment and mental wellbeing that takes a hit, it’s the environment too.
Luckily, we’ve got you guys, the TrashMob, out there and following our Do It Ourselves (DIO) guidelines and removing bonkers amounts of litter from our trails every single day of the year.
So what makes our Halloween Trail Clean Tour so important?
Who ya gunna call?
We know some trail destinations are more haunted by single use pollution than others. There are those places that are a draw for thousands of people a week, or just the spots that need some extra love to bring them back to their full potential. Unfortunately, the scale of the task can be totally overwhelming for a small group or an individual with a black bag and half a day to do a trail clean.
We also know that, because of obvious reasons [shakes fist at air… DAMN YOU COVID!] we haven’t been out on the ground supporting you anywhere as much as we would like. It’s been a tough 18 months for everyone and we want to help pay back all the hard effort you guys have been putting in solo and in small groups.
That’s why this year's Halloween Trail Clean Tour is going to be a little different to our usual DIO philosophy. We are looking to lend a hand and blitz seven of the most haunted trail destinations across the UK.
Who ya gunna call? TRASHBUSTERS. Yes, we’ll be hitting the road in the TRASHBUSTERS van between 22-31st October and visiting seven locations, bringing the full power of the Trash Free Trails crew to your local spot. The plan is to exorcise each location of spooky SUP in a single day blast, before we move on to the next location. We ain’t messing around either. This is more than your average trail clean. We will:
Rock up at your local spot with the TRASHBUSTERS van, 4x4 and ‘trash trailers’
Provide all the kit required to rid the trails of ghostly SUP and other nasties
Rally the Trash Free Trails community to come and lend a hand
Work with local press to publicise the event before and after
Work with the local council to arrange responsible recycling and disposal
Bring some special guest Red Bull, Trek and North Face athletes to roll up their sleeves (and show us some moves!)
Install a Trash Free Trails infographic sign, designed by the amazingly talented Beth Breeden @beeinthebig, similar to the one she recently created for Bolehills BMX track in Sheffield.
Make a film documenting the whole week, to be shown at Kendal Mountain Festival in November.
By doing this, we aim to empower local trail communities and equip them with the tools and support they need to become long term stewards of the areas we visit, meaning that next time we visit we can just ride bikes together!
No, not that Most Haunted. Yvette Fielding and some ropey night vision camera work aren’t going to cut the mustard when it comes to a trail clean.
We need your help to kick off the Halloween Trail Clean 2021. We want to make the biggest impact possible with our efforts. So where are the most haunted locations in the UK? Are you feeling overwhelmed at your local spot? Or is there somewhere that you travel to to ride that is drowning in litter?
We are looking for seven locations to visit in (or within thirty miles or so of) the following locations, from the 22nd - 31st of October.
Technology has moved on a little at the TRASHBUSTERS HQ, so rather than give us a call, we’d love for you to complete a super quick online form to nominate your trail. Be quick though, entries are only open until Monday 27th of September.
Prefer to do your paranormal investigations solo? Live too far away from our tour locations? Or maybe your local trails just need a little bit of love from you and a few mates? No matter how much we would like to, we can never visit every single trail location and wild place in the UK. That’s why the TrashMob is so important and will always be the lifeblood of what we do. So during our Halloween Trail Clean week, we are aiming to achieve100 community led trail cleans; which would make it our largest ever activation.
We’d love you to join us virtually; so please do get involved. There’s guidance on how to organise a safe, effective and enjoyable trail clean in our DIO Toolkit and your local A-Team member is always on hand with advice and support if needed.
The serious bit
We know not everyone is down with Halloween. We don’t blame you if you aren’t either. It’s in our nature to try and have fun while we tackle the very serious business of removing SUP from our trails and wild places, and engaging communities in purposeful adventure.
The Halloween Trail Clean tour isn’t just about that single week. It’s about making a quick impact in a way that creates a sustainable model of trail stewardship in areas where that is currently missing. It is about building communities and relationships between local trail users. And of course, it is about removing ecologically, socially and economically significant amounts of SUP from our outdoor spaces.
We always appreciate your support, whether it is solo or during our mass activations like this or our Spring Trail Cleans. You be you, and thank you for being part of the TrashMob.