Manningtree Street Keepers

Wednesday 23rd March 2022
Cllr Sharon Barker

Love where you live!

Have you seen the Manningtree Street Keeper Volunteers out and about with this emblazoned on their hi-vis jerkins in the streets of Manningtree?

Our main role is to control any excess vegetation on our streets (or pavement plants, as we like to call them) in a more environmentally-friendly way than blanket spraying with glyphosate, which research has shown to be harmful to wildlife such as pollinators as well as some pets. We're usually to be seen on Monday mornings, but sometimes other times too as we work our way around the streets.

We've actually been surprised at the range of plants that we come across. It's strange how we've all become accustomed to thinking of anything growing where we haven't specifically planted it as a 'weed'. Many of these plants are basically wild flowers that have been driven out of their preferred countryside and have adapted to street life to some extent. Many would provide shelter and food for insects if given the chance! The Street Keepers fully acknowledge the worsening biodiversity crisis, and, with funding from Manningtree Town Council and The Frankenburg Association, last year put in the work to create the wildlife garden in Quay Street, near the beach. It would be great if people had a look at it as it develops and perhaps took some of the ideas home to their own gardens.

If anyone is interested in joining our friendly team (very flexible attendance), do contact or ring the Town Clerk 07824 860252 for more information. You would be made very welcome.

As we work, we pick up any litter that we come across, and what is the most common litter?
Cigarette butts - which are not the most pleasant things to pick up. A couple of weeks ago, the Street Keepers decided to carry out a small-scale litter pick, mainly along the High Street and the area between the Market Place and the Station Road shops. From the High Street alone we collected 669 cigarette butts - also really not the most pleasant things to count either! The butts, mostly in the gutters, are washed into the drains and eventually out to sea, where they release toxic chemicals and the plastics in them last for many years. The shame is that this is all completely unnecessary. Anyone smoking in the High Street is never far from a bin. In the past it has seemed pretty much socially acceptable to drop and stub out butts in the street. This really shouldn't be the case now that we know how harmful they are. Please don't do it. Thank you.

Love where you live.