|Think before you throw!|
Keep Wales Tidy, Tidy Towns, and The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales all spend many hours clearing litter from road verges, nature reserves and other public land, and after a recent finding are now asking people to again think about the impact that their litter has on Carmarthenshire’s wildlife. It’s not only unsightly, but can have terrible impact on our wildlife.
The Wildlife Trust (like many areas) have problem with litter and fly tipping on some of their reserves in Carmarthenshire. At the Wildlife Trust’s Ffrwd Farm Mire nature reserve near Pembrey, which is nationally important for its habitats and breeding birds and insects, they have to remove multiple van loads of litter every year, just from one verge. We’ve also had to deal with the invasion of Japanese Knotweed on the site, which was the result of fly tipping of garden waste.
Brian Mogford, from Tidy Towns, discovered first-hand the impact that litter can have on wildlife. During a recent litter clearance near Pontnewydd Bridge, he found a glass bottle with what looked like soil inside – but on further inspection of the debris he found the remains of at least 19 individual small mammals that had died as a result of being trapped inside.
It is likely that often, people do not realise the impact that discarding even such small items as bottles and drink cans can have on wildlife. Food wrappings can be appealing to small animals, which investigate debris for anything edible. They enter the containers, and become trapped. Small mammals are particularly vulnerable, but birds and reptiles can also easily become entangled.
Recording mammals through counting their corpses is not bottles is certainly not the preferred way of finding out about mammals in the county.