Sir,—I visited last week Thurstaston to make the acquaintance of the very interesting gifts of adjacent land that have been lately made by Mr Paton and his friends to the National Trust. The whole pleasure of my visit was spoiled by the thoughtlessness with which visitors had strewed the beautiful viewpoint, which is in the custody of the Birkenhead Corporation, with abominable litter. I watched the process. I saw picnic parties deliberately, as they unfolded their eatables, toss the paper to the winds. From where I sat I could count one hundred bits of paper moving about as the wind took them. It is true, though I saw notices to smokers to be careful not to leave lighted tobacco about, I saw no notice against this litter nuisance. But the fact is that until we can either have bylaws which will make the leaving of litter about in public places penal, or until we have from the earliest days taught our children the cruel selfishness that would so desecrate Nature, I fear nothing will be done. Believing, as it is, after all, a question of education, the Cumberland Education Authority has issued a leaflet to all teachers of the secondary and elementary schools asking their kind co-operation in bringing the matter before the scholars. I do not know if anything can be done in Liverpool or Birkenhead in this connection, but that so fair and beautiful a scene as Thurstaston viewpoint should be entirely robbed of its pleasure to visitors who care about the beauty of Nature by such thoughtless leaving of waste paper about is enough to break the heart of anyone who believes in the social uplift of the people and the progress of education. This kind of treatment of public places does not encourage donors to make gifts of open spaces to the nation, and, as we know to our sorrow, has already prevented private owners giving access to the people of their pleasure grounds.
(Liverpool Daily Post, 1916, 7 August, p. 8)