April 23, 2020
I live on the edge of Gateshead, where the man-made meets the rural. It’s an odd sort of landscape where country lanes run parallel to the Western Bypass, as the A1 Motorway sweeps past Tyneside’s retail parks and industrial estates. It can be a lovely place to walk and cycle, as lanes weave their way up the hills towards more rural destinations.
It’s easy access from the suburban outskirts is not only it’s delight but also it’s downfall, with discarded fast-food packaging littering the verges – mainly from the nearby McDonald’s on the Team Valley Trading Estate. It is also a prime location for fly-tipping. Over the past ten years or so I have recorded much of this detritus: black bin bags, house clearance and refurbishment debris – including baths, toilets and quite literally the kitchen sink! In particular there is an abundance of sofas.
With lockdown there are no open of drive-throughs and fast food litter has disappeared – but the closure of council tips – combined with people having time to clear their houses of unwanted junk, has resulted in a huge rise in fly-tipping. Some of this is absolutely appalling. So for my daily walk from home, I have taken my camera to record this assault on these beautiful tree lined lanes.
So as the country come together, some are covering it in rubbish. Here are some images – some past and some very new – of my roadside view.
By Damien Wootten