For some reason, Middlesbough council have instituted its own volunteer cycle ranger system. As a family, we are already Sustrans rangers but volunteered as with Sustrans we usually work outside our own town.
Consequently, a few weeks ago , we were signed up, supplied with mountain bikes and a few other items and given routes to ride and report any glass or rubbish on the tracks.
We mostly have about 4 miles of NCN65 from what is called Devils bridge along through Albert park into the town centre and then past the railway station. Mostly, this is fairly clear but after the railway station, the area is increasingly small industrial units and with resulting litter along the road.
After this area, our route goes along the side of the rail track and then comes to what we call the curly, whirly bridge . It must have a proper name but it is not a through route for motor vehicles and so is relatively remote sandwiched between a fast dual carriageway and the railway. This area obviously hasn’t seen a street cleaner in a long time and so we decided to take matters into our own hands. Here’s what it looked like when we arrived this morning.
You can see a lot of debris, mainly leaf mould but with litter and a little broken glass thrown in for good measure. We look some tools on our old trailer which we have had for over 35 years and its still going strong. Originally, we carried the children in it but that was a lifetime ago.
We also had a young friend tagged along too , so we put him to work as well. It took about 2 hours of litter picking, shovelling off the leaf mould and sweeping the area clean. We had a few people pass and give praise for the cleaning up. We did explain we were doing this without any official permission. One chap said , he walks this way every day but wished there was a bridge over the dual carriageway and could we pass this on to the council. In these days of spending strangulation, I doubt this would even be considered.
Here’s DH sweeping off the last bits.
What a difference.
The steps are clean and free from the brambles that were snagging on the cycles.
We piled the rubbish up in a couple of sacks and put it in a black bag against the rain.
We cycled further along our route towards the railway station but there is still more rubbish for the council to clear but as there are old tyres etc and too much for us to clear.
We feel satisfied with a job well done even though we only cycled about 6 miles.