It was great to see so many people out over the Christmas and New Year breaks walking in the various parks.

The weather was mild for much of the time and when the sun came through it seemed almost like spring had sprung.

While we all appreciate the natural environment, unfortunately, at times, it gets abused. Wherever human beings go it seems a stream of litter follows. Why, when people come into our natural green spaces, do they not respect them, take their rubbish home or put it in the bins provided?

It was also concerning to see a number of people feeding bread to the birds. One couple in Wanstead Park were not only dishing out the bread but apparently teaching their daughter this was a good thing to do. It isn't.

Bread is bad for the birds, it damages them internally. In addition, the bread not eaten sinks to the bottom of the lakes creating more damage to the ecosystem.

This is not news, there has been much publicity about the damage bread does to birds and waterways. There are notices that explain but still some people keep doing it.

Along by Eagle pond, despite the notices, some people arrive and start dumping their bread, causing untold damage. Just as with reducing plastic use we need to stop some of our other destructive practices.

If people want to feed the birds fine, buy the right products - grain etc, sold in supermarkets and pet shops. Use the bread for something else.

Finally, it'd be great if people came to our parks by foot, cycle or public transport if at all possible. For some going by car is the only way they can get there but this is a very small number of people.

A park keeper was telling me recently how some people will drive 500 metres, park their car and get the dog out for a walk. Why? Surely, they could walk that 500 metres. The emissions created are helping destroy the planet that we all depend on for life.

These are all small things but all can easily be changed.

  • Paul Donovan is a Redbridge councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See