It may have an iconic castle, a world-famous garden and a fine collection of independent shops. Yet it was something else which caught the attention of some recent visitors to Alnwick.
And sadly this photograph they took tells it’s own sorry story.
Let’s face it, it’s hardly a postcard image, is it?
Quite frankly, I was shocked when a snap showing a chewing-gum ridden pavement on Bailiffgate landed on my desk at Gazette HQ.
But to put it bluntly, they had every right to raise the issue.
This stretch on Bailiffgate for instance, which runs up to tourist hot-spot Alnwick Castle, is horrendous.
It is like a dot-to-dot.
Each paving slab has numerous splodges of different shapes, sizes and colours.
Ever the investigative journalist, it prompted me to have a walk around town to see if it was an isolated incident or a further-reaching problem.
I’m ashamed to say, it was the latter.
Ironically, some of the worst spots I came across around the town seem to be close to a bin.
Now, the state of Alnwick’s footpaths have been high on my winging list for many a month now.
If it’s not dog mess, then it’s cracked and uneven paving slabs (although I am aware that work is planned to resolve this particular problem).
But it seems there is another issue plaguing our streets.
And it needs sorting – quick!
We often talk about litter and dog mess, but surely dropped chewing gum is just as bad?
I’m not suggesting this problem is confined to Alnwick either. I would take a strong punt by saying that most of our towns and villages in north Northumberland suffer from this to varying degrees .
I’ve heard a request was made recently in Amble for the use of the chewing-gum removal machine.
Our towns and villages are beautiful places and they should be remembered for the right things; not because people seem to be too lazy to put their chewing gum – or dog mess/other litter for that matter – in a bin.
With tourist season fast approaching, it’s high time we get this sorted.