May 5th - Only a short spin around Brownhills as I’d had a bunch of unexpected work crop up. It was pleasant enough though, and decent weather for a bank holiday, to boot.
It’s time for the annual warning - this scum on the canal isn’t pollution. Yes, it looks horrendous, but it’s natural - it’s wind-born debris from some shrub or other (never worked out which). It drifts over the surface of the canal and forms in scummy, oil-like ripples.
Nothing to be concerned about, it’s perfectly natural and soon disappears.
April 23rd - Spinning home from work, I noticed fresh flytipping in the gateway again at the Shelfield end of Jockey Meadows on Green Lane. A mixture of what looks like building and domestic refuse, it seems to be the usual ‘pull up and shove it off the back of a wagon’ job; unless the culprits have left anything incriminating, or were witnessed, it’s sadly very unlikely they’ll be caught.
People make excuses for this behaviour, saying stuff like ‘If the refuse tips were free for commercial vehicles it wouldn’t happen’ - it would. If you’re prepared to flytip, you aren’t going to go halfway across the borough to an approved tip. The morons who do this do so because it’s easy, relatively risk free, and because, without a doubt, they’re filthy scum with no pride in their environment or concern for others.
It makes me sad and angry.
September 26th - Further up the canal at Pelsall Road, I noticed what appeared to be oil on the surface of the canal. I was quite concerned as I approached, but I realised as I got closer that the scum is in fact a mixture of leaf-litter and other seed debris that had fallen onto the surface of the water. There must be physical reasons why it all seems to clump in one place…
February 23rd - Also at Chasewater, there’s some pollution happening.
This is good pollution, however. A casual observer might stand on the waterline of the now-full lake and wonder what the froth and scum is, gently lapping the shore. It’s the side effects of Chasewater once again being host to massive numbers of Gulls, who come here to roost on the water at twilight.
Yes, tens of thousands of birds frequent this reservoir in the evening, where they rest, loaf and bob gently in the wind. Whilst they do this, they preen. The scum is actually bird feathers, plucked during preening.
Biodegradable, they will rot away, or be gathered by other birds for nesting material. Recycled, naturally.
December 1st - I notice that Green Lane on the Walsall Wood/Shelfield border is seeing an increase flytipping again. As usual, this is just domestic refuse, and would have fitted in a wheelie bin or public littler bin. I just can’t work out how the scumbags who do this think. It must take more effort to flytip in many cases than it would do to dispose of the stuff considerately.
December 20th - 390 metres up on Nether Low, on a desolate bridleway ten miles from the nearest significant town, this beautiful spot is blighted by flytipping. Possibly the remnants of metal theft, a pile of discarded cable insulation. Scrap yards pay more for stripped copper, so the insulation is carelessly discarded. This is the visible side effect of the scrap trade, and we’re still no closer to solving the problem. My views on this, and the current pointless knee jerk reaction are well known. Meanwhile, while politicians and the public prevaricate, the damage continues. Senseless. The good people fighting this crime need more resources. Now.
June 25th - Nipping into Walsall early afternoon, I returned on the cycle track down the Goscote Valley. Leaving the Butts at Mill Lane, I spotted this flytipping. Clearly thrown or tipped from the back of a truck, it would have fitted in a domestic dustbin. There is nothing anyone can do about this opportunistic, heartless vandalism: such a crime is over before it starts, and blights us all.
Some people are scum, and that’s all there is to it. I just pity the poor folks charged with cleaning it up.