The landscapes that are a load of rubbish

Gillian Darley index

Some landfill sites have been turned into beautiful nature reserves. But that doesn’t mean we’re off the hook when it comes to tackling our waste

The Beckton Alp(s) and Northala Fields, the unwieldy official name for those four little cones alongside the A40 at Northholt, converted me long ago to the considerable charms of artificial landscape; strong cheeky landforms in the right place. And they have apparently caught the imagination of their local public since they’re well used, winter and summer, people standing on the tops enjoying the views over the landscape beyond, others toiling up the curling paths or kids running down them.

The urgency of getting to grips with our trail of mess, the grim leftovers and toxic spoil from our material lives, is maybe finally getting through – it takes a dead whale to get the message out.

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