By in Sports

Sport or littering?

CALL ME A grumpy old fuddy-duddy if you like but some things really get up my nose! I wrote about one of them in my last post Why do people do this? and now I'm going to have another rant about a related but different one.

On one of my recent walks through the Lomond Hills Regional Park - one of my favourite places - I found these two arrows (made with chalk powder) on a path (open the image in a new tab for a better look).

They have been used as route markers for either a mountain bike competition or a foot race. I have also seen red and white tape tied to trees used as markers in a similar manner and left in place after the event. I understand the need to mark such a route for those unfamiliar with the area but surely the organisers could ensure that such markers are removed when the event is over.

At the very least this is inconsiderate behaviour which spoils the 'feel' of a wilderness area and at worst it could be considered littering which is, of course, an offence against the law (and nature).

I don't know if special permission is needed to conduct such organised sporting activities within the park boundaries but if it is then I suspect that one of the conditions is that the organisers of such events should not wilfully damage the environment nor leave litter behind them after the event is concluded.

I am well aware that the Lomond Hills Regional Park, in common with many other similar areas, isn't a true wilderness - it's a managed environment so why can't those who use this type of outdoor resource manage to clean up their litter after them?

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VinceSummers wrote on July 16, 2017, 6:47 PM

Certainly any remnants of plastic products and other non-degradable materials should be carefully removed. Chalk? Well, perhaps a smidgen of vinegar, since chalk is calcium carbonate?

lookatdesktop wrote on July 16, 2017, 7:58 PM

Yes, it is ugly to look at. I hope you can manage a way to inform those in charge not to do this and try to find a way to make directional signs that look more like they were made for a public park or a zoo. They do make nice signs for tourists that enhance the look of the area rather than make it look like graffiti.

MegL wrote on July 17, 2017, 8:00 AM

Yes, no litter allowed, including graffiti! They should remove tape or notices.

Kasman wrote on July 17, 2017, 1:55 PM

Wind and rain will eventually do their work and obliterate the chalk but that isn't the point. One of the cardinal rules for those visiting wilderness areas (for any purpose) is that they should leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories . I suppose this kind of thing is a symptom of today's throw-away society.

Kasman wrote on July 17, 2017, 2:01 PM

Unfortunately, the purpose of a sign of any kind is to stand out and be obvious so that people can read it! I am not against signs as such but temporary signs such as route markers for a race should be removed after the event. Not to do so is sheer thoughtless laziness.

Kasman wrote on July 17, 2017, 2:05 PM

If the park authority were to charge a fee for clearing up this kind of thing I'll bet the organisers would soon get the message and do it themselves!

MegL wrote on July 17, 2017, 4:40 PM

Good idea

AliCanary wrote on July 21, 2017, 9:02 PM

I wouldn't have an issue with chalk markings that wash away easily enough, but yes, I would definitely consider it littering if paper or tape markings weren't removed.