Litter left strewn across parks in Bristol, Devon and Gloucestershire as lockdown rules ease

Credit: BPM Media

People are being urged to take responsibility for their rubbish after litter was left strewn across a number of West Country parks and other hotspots.

As lockdown restrictions eased this week, hot weather has encouraged many people to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.

But pictures show rubbish left in some places.

Bristol Waste says it is struggling to keep up with the amount of litter on The Downs, despite putting out extra rubbish bins and emptying them seven days a week.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: "Our message to those who are enjoying the easing of restrictions and the good weather is simple; please take your litter home.

"As well as being unsightly and dangerous, dumping waste on the streets is a criminal offence, even if that’s placing litter next to a bin. It constitutes fly-tipping and could lead to a prosecution.

"Taking litter home also means you can recycle everything you use, helping keep Bristol a sustainable city. We all have a civic duty to look after our beautiful open spaces so others can enjoy them safely too.

"Bristol Waste crews continue to work hard, as they have throughout the pandemic, to keep Bristol clean and accessible for everyone to enjoy. We are reacting quickly to the increase of local visitors, with more regular emptying of bins and additional bins around popular areas.

"Please help keep them, and yourselves, safe by staying 2m apart, and taking your litter home."

Litter left at Fremington Quay. Credit: BPM Media

Last week North Devon Council began a new campaign to convince residents to take their litter home as lockdown eased.

Principal Waste Manager from Devon County Council and Clean Devon Co-ordinator, Annette Dentith, said if bins are full, people should "bring your own bag and dispose of it when you return home".

"Please don't leave it next to an already full bin as this contributes to littering and is considered fly-tipping for which you could be fined."

Sites such as Dartmoor National Park are expecting a large number of visitors over the Easter weekend and are telling people to

Alison Kohler, Dartmoor's Director of Conservation and Communities, says "We know most people want to help us protect this special environment and we’d like to remind them it’s important to leave no trace of their visit.

"That way when they go, nature comes back and reclaims the space they left, making room for us all to share this special landscape."

MP Alex Chalk also shared an image of litter strewn across Montpellier Gardens at around 7.30am on Wednesday 31 March.

Rubbish was left in Montpellier Gardens in Cheltenham. Credit: Facebook/Alex Chalk MP

He said: "Clearly no thought given to the public servants who have to clean it up."

As well as litter, health bosses have also urged people to take responsibility for following the remaining Covid restrictions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned Britons not to “blow it” ahead of what could be the UK’s hottest March day on record.

Credit: Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporter

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