All change for the 'forest' line 06 September 2017

A wild woodland forest sprung up around London’s Willesden Green tube station today as the Chewing Gum Action Group launched this year’s campaign to reduce gum littering.

The Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) has created the UK’s first tube station surrounded by a pop-up woodland, named Gum Forest, to raise awareness around responsible gum disposal.

Understanding Gum Littering, research conducted on behalf of Wrigley in 2016, discovered that people’s perception of how natural a space is influences whether they’re likely to drop gum there[1] so CGAG hopes the appearance of the Gum Forest, a rural woodland in a urban space, will prompt people to change their attitude to dropping gum – no matter where they are.

Psychologist Emma Kenny explains: “There are many psychological reasons why people litter, for the most part it's simply thoughtless behaviour, an individual’s incapacity to understand how such a seemingly small action can lead to unnecessary and needless environmental damage.

“Ironically, it is this disregard for our outside surroundings that in return affects our happiness and wellbeing. There is an abundance of research that evidences how our local environment impacts on our state of mind. The cleaner and more well-kept our surroundings, the calmer, more relaxed and in control we feel as people.”

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

Brent is one of 44 local authorities and partners from across the UK taking part in this year’s campaign, displaying campaign materials on poster sites, monitoring gum litter and running Gum Forest creative activations.  This year’s campaign has seen a huge jump in participating councils, with three times more areas taking part compared to 2016. For more information, please visit chewinggumactiongroup.org.uk, or join the conversation using #gumforest and #binityourway.

 


[1]Ethnographic research carried out from January-March 2016 in four UK locations – Southampton, Kettering, Doncaster and Islington.  The research included 160 hours of observation, 40 on street interviews and 16 long ethnographic interview.