Boston Manor Park litter pick

LAGER Canners have been thanked for clearing “shocking” amounts of shredded plastic from woodland in Boston Manor Park.

With minutes to spare before a freak April show shower, our team completed a Saturday morning litter pick, gathering 18 sacks of rubbish plus 15 sacks-worth of unbaggables.

Park manager Vanessa Hampton said: “I’m really pleased and grateful for all the help from LAGER Can and other local volunteers who helped make the litter pick such a success. Removing 18 bags of rubbish and many large items that had been degrading, hidden or even buried in the earth for so long was a terrific result. I can’t thank them enough for their enthusiasm and support!”

A pallet is wrenched from the riverbank

The haul included a pallet embedded in the riverbank and the usual sprinkling of beer cans – the oldest dating back to 1991. A stash of pipes had to be dug out of the earth.

Dig this!  Unearthing some old pipes

But more disturbingly, we unearthed a mass of plastic shreds carpeting the woodland floor.

The woodland floor is littered with plastic

“The amount of plastic we found was shocking,” said Vanessa. “Plastics can release toxins into the soil, river and ultimately ocean as they break down and can even end up in the groundwater that we drink. Wildlife is also harmed through ingestion or even entanglement.

“It’s vital that people dispose of litter responsibly. Please take your litter home or use the park bins.”

Work is progressing on a £5.34m lottery-funded regeneration plan for the park, which sits between the Grand Union Canal, Boston Manor Road and the GlaxoSmithKline headquarters.

The centrepiece is a fine Jacobean mansion built in 1623. It’s shaded by fine cedar trees planted in 1754. Less idyllically, the park is straddled by the M4 flyover.

Vanessa is urging park users to be patient as the park is slowly transformed: “I hope that visitors can see that the works are progressing. We have a fantastic new network of paths that make the park so much more accessible to all.

“The new community café and activity building is going up, there’s been lots of new tree planting in the last month and work to create new wetlands seasonal ponds and an expanded orchard in the southern meadows will start soon.

“Some areas do take more time. For example, the lake needs the excavated silt to dry out before we can complete the construction work and re-fill it. We’ve put up posters around the park explaining what is happening so people know what to expect and why.

“In the meantime, there are lots of events for people to enjoy in the park – whether you’re interested in kids’ activities, guided nature walks, creative or sports events, or volunteering sessions (and more litter picks!), there’s something for everyone – even while the work takes place. You can email me at to hear about our upcoming events and activities.”

LAGER Can’s Cathy Swift said: “When Vanessa asked me if LAGER Can would like to help with the litter pick in Boston Manor Park I knew our members would be keen to help. After all, when it comes to rubbish we are no respecters of borough boundaries, and we worked closely with Vanessa and her team when she was Ealing’s Senior Park Ranger.”

Vanessa is a long-standing friend of LAGER Can. In her previous job managing Ealing’s Walpole Park, she nominated the group for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which we received in October 2021.