Crackdown on chewing gum littering in Brent

Anti-gum littering campaign gives commuters something to 'chew on' as Willesden Green tube station is transformed into a wild woodland to highlight responsible gum disposal.

Today a wild woodland forest has sprung up around Brent's Willesden Green tube station. Mosses, ferns and toadstools engulf the station entrance, birch trees burst from pavements, and fallen logs cover the streets. The usual drum of city noise has been drowned out by sounds of bird song and running streams - writes Brent Council.

Alongside Brent Council, Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) has created the UK's first tube station surrounded by a pop up woodland, named the 'Gum Forest', to raise awareness of responsible gum disposal.

Evidence shows that people's likelihood of dropping gum is influenced by their opinion of how natural an open space is, so The Gum Forest - a rural woodland in a normally urban area - has been created to prompt people to change their attitude to dropping gum, no matter where they are.

This campaign forms part of Brent's wider Love Where You Live campaign, which encourages residents to help put the pride back into Brent by doing small things to make the borough a greener, cleaner and happier place to live and visit.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Lead Member for Environment, said:

"The vast majority of residents and visitors in Brent care for the environment around them, but there is still a small minority who thoughtlessly drop litter and ruin it for the rest of us.

"Our surroundings really do have an impact on our happiness and wellbeing, so I hope that the Gum Forest makes people stop and think about how their behaviour can have a positive, as well as negative impact for all of us.

"At the heart of what makes Brent such a great place to live and work is the pride that the majority of residents have in their local areas. Our Love Where You Live campaign is about encouraging all residents to care for their local areas, feel responsible for the landscape around us and create a better environment for our communities."

Though the forest will live at Willesden Green in Brent for just one day, Brent's Gum Forestwill live on, by being divided up between Brent's community groups.

For more information, visit www.chewinggumactiongroup.org.uk or join the conversation using #gumforest and #lovebrent.

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