While delighted to see so many people able to make use of the Marshes for salvaging their sanity during lockdown, we’re less happy with the vastly increased amount of litter that is now being dumped. Despite numerous complaints to Serco about the overflowing bin at the footbridge to the Wincheap retail estate, the bin still isn’t being emptied frequently enough.

Of course, it’s visitors, not Serco, who generate the waste, and who should be far more responsible when disposing of their rubbish, taking it home or to another bin if the nearest one is full. If you find the bin near the Wincheap footbridge overflowing, please email to complain. Describe the location as “Bin on Great Stour Way at Hambrook Marshes by footbridge over the river to Wincheap”. You will probably get a stock reply along the lines of “These bins are emptied as often as possible on a schedule; there is no capacity to put in additional collections at this time”, but the drip-drip feed of complaints may eventually lead to a change of mind about schedules and priorities. Thank you.

Another problem during the unprecedented hot weather has been a proliferation of disposable barbecue sets. Placed on the ground they scorch the grass, leaving very unsightly black marks, and, if placed in a bin, although not generating litter, the substantial aluminium base will simply go to landfill.

We are trying to keep on top of the recent spate of graffiti-spraying, and some of the prime sites have been painted over twice or even three times this month in a bid to keep the marshes infrastructure looking reasonably presentable.