pring is here. It is announcing itself in those broken and surprising ways that are like the noises that come from the orchestra pit before the concert begins – a blast on a tuba, a run across the strings of a violin, or a sudden chord from the woodwinds. The Spring Equinox is passed, signifying longer warmer days , and there is hope in the air for a fresh start.
Most National Trust properties have been dusting off and sprucing up ready for the new season, and Ashridge is no exception. Here it happens automatically every year with a little help from the volunteers. Mother nature is in control – she sheds her winter protection for the new emerging buds and rots the old vegetation ready for the new, but she cannot handle litter. Enter the volunteers.
The exposed glass bottles and drink cans now sparkle in the spring sunshine having been hiding away for months in the old vegetation, and are awaiting collection. Collecting the litter from the far flung corners of the Estate is another unpleasant task offered to the volunteers, for many find it demeaning having to collecting other people’s trash, but the end result makes it worthwhile – returning the landscape to a pristine condition.
It is such a pleasure to enter a fresh green and pleasant landscape free from the debris which litters the roads as you approach Ashridge – you know when you have arrived! We should think of the Estate as a litter free zone and we might even receive an award from Keep Britain Tidy because they still exist, dating back to the sixties but are now largely an ineffective quango. With the new Governmental plans for cans and bottles becoming eligible for refund payments, there should be a reduction in littering in the years to come.
It is also the beginning of the fly-tipping season. No sooner than the weather turns warm people decide to clear out their garage, knock down the old shed or tidy the garden and perhaps dump the resulting rubbish at Ashridge. Fortunately we are not close to any large conurbation and if rubbish does arrive and is reported, the Trust are quick to remove it.
Onwards and upwards!
The colour palette for this piece is National Trust spring green, chosen to be fresh and inviting.