Swaledale Beavers help to shape waste policy with letter to council

A Richmondshire Beaver group looks set to help shape waste management in a Swaledale village after they wrote to  the district council to highlight how rubbish was being dumped outside their school, homes and where they play.

Members of Swaledale Beaver Scouts, who are aged six to eight, appealed to Richmondshire District Council to take fresh action after becoming fed up with the amount of rubbish and dog mess left around tourism hotspot Reeth.

The Beavers, who meet weekly in Fremington Village Hall, decided to write directly to the local authority after witnessing litter accumulate in places that they could scarcely believe in the area surrounding the picturesque green.

The letter, which was presented to the council’s leading members by Lower Swaledale councillor Richard Good, calls for more bins in the village.

It says: “Please may we have some more bins in Reeth because people stuff it in the walls and don’t pick it up and dogs and people step in it.”

Cllr Good, who is the Swaledale Group Scout Leader, told a meeting of the council’s corporate board he was delighted that the area’s Beaver Scout colony had presented him with the letter.

He said: “Bearing in mind that these young people are only six or seven years old I think it’s important that we realise they are concerned about these things and we want them to be concerned.

“Indeed, last night they were making posters that they were going to laminate and put alongside the Swale Trail about litter.”

Cllr Good said it would be young people who would provide momentum for the council’s environmental initiatives.

He said: “These are the people we need to get on board and show that we care too.”

Cllr Good said compared to some places the litter issue in Reeth was “not so bad”, but he stressed the Beavers had raised some valid points, particularly about waste being stuffed into walls.

He said during one litter pick in Reeth last year blocked drains had been cleared and three bin bags of waste had been collected on the lane outside the village primary school and before the village Bonfire Night event, volunteers had an annual task of clearing the green of dog mess.

Colin Dales, the council’s corporate director, said he would be responding to the Beaver’s letter, thanking them for their interest in keeping their community clean and tidy.

He said: “It is very encouraging to see young people taking such an interest in their local environment.”

Mr Dales said the council was undertaking a review of waste and recycling and the provision of litter bins and recycling litter bins across the district and that Reeth would be part of that review.

He added: “In the meantime, we are going to ask the Beavers to assist us in looking at existing litter and dog bin provision in the village to see if we can use the existing bins to better effect in terms of location.”