We found the first of his handiwork soon after starting Rubbish Walks in November: a crisp packet tied into a knot and discarded on the side of Malmesbury Road. This distinctive style was later found on other walks: along Hardenhuish Road, Bristol Road, Hardenhuish Lane. Whether it’s crisp or candy wrappers, the Knotty Man’s MO is to knot the packaging and toss it aside.
However, these bits of rubbish were always on their own, one here and one there along the path. We weren’t sure if it was a single person with a compulsive habit, or several people who happened to have a similar littering style. But this weekend we hit the jackpot and uncovered the lair of the Knotty Man – it’s along a footpath off of Malmesbury Road, and it was here we discovered at least ten wrappers, all knotted.
Footpaths like this that connect the residential (Laines Head) to a main thoroughfare like Malmesbury Road are litter magnets, and it appears our Knotty Man lives nearby. But while we are now fairly confident that it is one naughty individual, it also raises more questions – why knots? And why the seemingly constant stream of litter around Chippenham?