A wild woodland forest has sprung up at Willesden Green tube station over night as anti-gum littering campaigners transformed it for the day on Wednesday September 6.
Brent commuters were stunned to find the station's entrance engulfed this morning by toadstools, trees and mosses and to hear birdsong chirping out above the rush hour hubbub.
The pop-up forest was erected overnight by The Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG) as an eye-catching stunt to promote responsible gum disposable across the capital.
The one-day "gum forest" is a response to 2016 research by Wrigley that found people’s likelihood of dropping gum is influenced by how natural they find a space to be.
Psychologist Emma Kenny said: “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.
“Recognising that our surroundings can add to our happiness levels means that we can start to make choices about our behaviour that minimise the risk to our environment, leaving us with outdoor spaces that are consciously clean and pleasant places where we wish to spend our time."
Chewing gum is an ongoing litter challenge across the UK and CGAG gum forests will be popping up across 44 council areas over the next two months in an attempt to tackle the issue.
These creative executions will be supported by an advertising campaign, funded by the chewing gum industry.
Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive at environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, a partner in CGAG, said: “ The Chewing Gum Action Group’s aim is to reduce gum litter by working with councils and partners across the UK.
"For over ten years CGAG have been committed to using creative ways to get people to bin their gum when they’ve finished chewing.
"From our experience, we know these campaigns work and really resonate with people. The group’s 2016 campaign, for example, saw chewing gum litter reduce by an average of 36% in participating areas, demonstrating the impact CGAG’s campaign work can have on the UK’s littering behaviour.”
The forest will live at Willesden Green in Brent for just one day but Brent’s Gum Forest will live on and be divided up between Brent’s community gardens.
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