This week, a volunteer from the SeeItPickItBinIt community litter group in Kettering went to clean up the small woodland area between the Rothwell Road railway bridge and the Kettering General Hospital bottom car park.
Despite it having been cleared two years ago, the site that awaited him was truly mind-numbing.
Trolleys, blankets, drug needles and a gigantic ditch full of plastic and glass, weighing an estimated 300kg. All that was missing from this tip was 100 seagulls and a dump truck.
I have been driven to write this letter, because no-one at Kettering General Hospital, the police or the local council seems to consider it a priority when our local sites get bespoiled by the apparently ubiquitous homeless camps.
When did it become OK to dump bucketloads of rubbish in a habitat, upon which hundreds of species depend?
Flytipping on private land is a criminal offence and having drug needles all over the floor is as serious a health hazard to local residents and their dogs as I can imagine.
Yet, as with the homeless camp between Asda and the railway line, despite 1,000s of needles and rubbish that would fill a van to overflowing, the council, the police and the social services all wash their hands of responsibility for this unacceptable soiling of Northamptonshire natural areas.
Many homeless people still live with pride and look after where they live, so I don’t accept that homelessness is the root cause of this issue.
Allowing rough sleeping, class A drug use and littering, though, perhaps is.
The main thing that I wanted to express is the apparent hypocrisy of those in authority.
On the one hand, they preach the importance of civic law and order, but on the other, they allow drug users to ruin a valuable natural habitat, just because they are homeless and refuse assistance.
If this eyesore had happened in front of the council offices, I wonder how long it would have been before the council and riot vans turned up.
Twenty years ago, many local families enjoyed this green space, walking their dog and rarely, if ever, seeing any litter around the hospital woodland site.
Most litter is the fault of big business and the general public, but this issue has been enabled, by a litany of inaction on the part of the police, the land owners and the council.
I for one, don’t think that tolerating this appalling behaviour is acceptable and I want to know desperately, at what point did the authorities decide to allow civilisation in Kettering to go into decline?