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Community team cleans up Hackney Marshes with litter picking

PUBLISHED: 16:45 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:45 08 July 2020

Hackney Marshes has seen increased rubbish during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Marcus Bastel

Hackney Marshes has seen increased rubbish during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Marcus Bastel

marcusbastel.com

Environmentally-conscious residents have been litter picking at their local Hackney green, and are asking for others to follow suit.

Hackney Marshes has seen increased rubbish during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Marcus Bastel Hackney Marshes has seen increased rubbish during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Marcus Bastel

Bella Sereno and Nat van Zee, who are both long-time residents of the Landmark Heights block, have got together to pick litter in nearby Hackney Marshes.

The friends said since the coronavirus lockdown began, the number of people enjoying the green space has risen in parallel to the amount of rubbish left behind.

“I would like to go out and enjoy it rather than think ‘oh my God there are 10 bottles here’,” Bella said.

To combat the issue, the duo started to pick up litter off their own bat while taking daily exercise.

Hackney Marshes has seen increased rubbish during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Marcus Bastel Hackney Marshes has seen increased rubbish during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Marcus Bastel

READ MORE: Arrest powers granted for Hackney Marshes after spate of gatherings

Bella, who is an environmental manager, said she can fill two bin bags each day in just half an hour walking around the green space, which is bordered on three sides by the River Lea off the A12.

Since they started the initiative, other residents saw their efforts on Facebook and have joined in.

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They are hoping more of the community will help out, urging people to get involved in any small way they can.

Hackney Marshes has seen increased rubbish during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Marcus Bastel Hackney Marshes has seen increased rubbish during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Marcus Bastel

Bella added: “At the end of the day, at a time when our home are our offices, it is nice to get out and for me it is something I can do to actually give back.”

Plant-based makeup artist Nat said: “We are responsible for our world, our planet, and lots of us love it and we need to put our rubbish in the bin.

“It’s my happy place, my sanctuary and that is the case for everyone who comes here. Whatever time of day, there are kids, climbing the trees and people meditating.”

Nat and Bella’s project has coincided with Plastic Free July, a movement urging everyone to stop using single-use plastics and help the environment.

It also comes as the Hackney Marshes User Group has urged the increased number of people visiting the space to avoid swimming in the River Lea.

The water is polluted and the splashing will disturb kingfishers and owls which nest by the river.

Nat and Bella have asked anyone interested in helping the group to post their litter-picking pictures on social media using the hashtag #HackneyMarshesCleanUp and signposted people to the Plastic Free Hackney Facebook group, which is run by a separate community.


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