Clean-up operation at Leeds' Woodhouse Moor park following large crowds yesterday

  • Video report by Jon Hill

Students and locals have come together to help with the clean-up operation at Woodhouse Moor park in Leeds this morning.

Large crowds were seen at the park yesterday and litter was left in the park in the scenes that have become familiar in the area in recent weeks.

The park is popular with the student population in Leeds and has seen crowds gather on sunny days since lockdown restrictions have eased.

It is thought that many people gathered in the park to celebrate 4/20 - a day where people smoke cannabis following a tradition that started in California.

There are warnings that the large gathering may have spread the virus, with the Woodhouse area of Leeds having covid rates much higher than the national average.

Professor Nicola Stonehouse, a virologist at Leeds University, said that there was a "misconception" that being outdoors meant that you were safe from the virus, it just meant that you were "safer".

Adel Chermiti, who runs a local football team in the area, said that he has had to move where the children who play in the team train at the park because of constantly finding broken glass in the ground.

Alex Tilley, a student in Leeds, said that he came to help with the clean-up after constantly walking through the park and seeing the litter that had been left behind.

"The litter isn't great but that has been the case for a while unfortunately especially on a sunny day," he said.

"I'm glad to see that people have rallied together, students and locals, to sort out the mess because it hasn't been great the last few years."

Sue Buckle, who is a member of the Friends of Woodhouse Park, said that the litter in the park was "depressing".

She said: "This is a beautiful green space, a lovely park for everybody, but yet a minority of people come up here and make it unusable."

She added: "Why have so little respect for the environment? We are supposed to be kinder to the environment in the days of covid, so why are people not more sensitive."

Credit: ITV News

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: "It is hugely disappointing that a large amount of litter was once again left on Woodhouse Moor yesterday."

It added: "Our message to those who visit Woodhouse Moor and indeed all our parks and green spaces across the city is very clear. Please take some personal responsibility and bring bags with you to take your rubbish home or dispose of it in an appropriate manner."

West Yorkshire Police said that they attended the park and that the day "passed without incident".