Dedham Vale: Tourists 'leaving litter and human waste' in beauty spot village, say locals

  • Russell Hookey spoke to locals to find out why they are concerned about the tourism influx in Dedham Vale

People living in a picturesque village say hordes of tourists are leaving discarded barbecues, piles of rubbish - and even human waste - alongside the river.

Dedham Vale nature reserve on the Essex Suffolk border - with its water meadows and the River Stour - is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Its picture-postcard landscapes have been made famous by the Romantic era painter John Constable - and the area is even known informally as Constable Country.

But people living in Dedham say the landscape is being blighted by a tourism boom since the pandemic.

Locals say visitors are a welcome contribution to the local economy but are behind an influx the village is not equipped to handle.

An overflowing rubbish bin in Dedham Vale. Credit: ITV Anglia

Tom West, owner of the Marlborough pub, said: "My biggest concern is the litter.

"We talked to the farmer who owns the land where most people head to quite frequently. And the litter is massively an issue.

"It causes ill health to the cows and cattle on the field. People just don't know how to behave around them, they chase them, they try and tilt, topple them over. It's not acceptable.

"And then the waste that is left, everything from the barbecues and waste food, right down to human faeces.

"It's not acceptable. And that side of things need to be resolved, it needs to be resolved fairly quickly."

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