Locals Outraged After Beauty Spots Are Strewn With Litter Including Dirty Nappies And Faeces
It's been the driest spring on record, the weather is cracking the flags and many of us are in lockdown.
As soon as the government decided to give us the go-ahead for 'unlimited exercise' outside, your first thought might have been to jump in the car and head to the beach or for a walk in the countryside, but guess what? So was everyone else's.
Absolutely shocking images have emerged on social media after the weekend, where basically the whole country experienced Mediterranean-level weather.
From beaches strewn with nitrous oxide canisters and bottles, to reports of human faeces on others. Moorland was also turned into an inferno due to a disposable BBQ being left behind. Now, residents are being left to clean up the mess they're faced with.
Sue from Formby, Merseyside, witnessed the havoc caused by people visiting the beach over the weekend.
Speaking to LADbible, she said it's 'heartbreaking to see devastation caused by laziness'.
She added: "There are no facilities down there, people are leaving dirty nappies, cans, bottles, cool boxes, underwear - you name it - it has been left on the beach.
"They are having BBQs which have caused fires. Local residents can't get their cars off the drive as people are just abandoning their cars, double parking so you can't get emergency vehicles down if needed.
"Local people are going down with bin bags to tidy up."
Another resident, John Haggart, said that he and his young children had been out picking up the rubbish on the beach.
Local councillors have described themselves as doubly disappointed by the many people who ignored advice to avoid local beaches this weekend and by the level of parking issues and rubbish that was then left behind by people.
Large numbers travelled to Sefton's beaches from as far afield as Manchester, Wigan and Birmingham over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, they say there was an average of 7,000 people on the beaches each day at any one time.
Leader of the local Sefton Council, Ian Maher, said: "As well as risking their own safety, and the safety of our local residents, the state in which some of those visitors have left certain parts of our coastline is simply an insult to our local communities.
"Visitors need to remain respectful and protect our public spaces, don't leave your litter behind or use camp-fires or barbecues."
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It's a sentiment that's echoed by other residents. Andy, 53, from Thorpe, a small village near Peak District beauty spot Dovedale, said that his hometown has been left in a state.
He told LADbible: "The village has been inundated with traffic all weekend, and Dovedale left in a mess. It's a danger to wild life and the public.
"By all means visit, but respect the countryside, respect the wildlife and take your rubbish home with you."
Although most summers see an understandable increase in visitors, this year has been much different.
Andy explained: "We've never seen it this bad! It does get busy in summer, but generally the roads and car parks cope. But the recent numbers after relaxation of lockdown have been phenomenal.
"The roads and infrastructure can't cope. And then the mess afterwards is distressing for those of us who live locally and have to clean it up."
As we've seen in previous years, fires caused by disposable BBQs have once again wreaked havoc on the moors. Having had a lengthy dry spell (not that kind), hoards of people descended on Darwen moor on Saturday to celebrate lockdown being relaxed.
Deciding to have a BBQ, their party turned in to a 36-hour long firefight, with crews risking their lives to put out the blaze.
Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston says: "We know that the fire in Darwen was caused by a disposable barbecue and we have seen evidence of several small campfires at the fire in Darwen.
"These dry and warm weather conditions, combined with a strong wind, makes it so easy for fires like this to spread and they quickly burn underground in the peat and overground as well.
"We urge people to enjoy the moorlands but not light at barbecues or camp fires. They are not only putting the individuals at risk who are lighting them, but they also harm our firefighters, other people enjoying exercise on the moors and the wildlife on the moors."
A National Trust spokesperson said: "Our outdoor teams are working incredibly hard to keep our places open, safe and clean - but we need everyone's help to keep them that way. We are emptying bins as often as we can, but we are currently operating with fewer staff than normal.
"We would urge everyone who visits our sites to take their litter home with them. Dropping litter or using already full bins puts extra pressure on our staff and local authorities at a time when resources are stretched."
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: "Littering blights communities, spoils our countryside and poses a risk to human health. Councils have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for up to £150 for littering as well as target owners of vehicles where litter is thrown out with penalty charge notices.
"Local authorities and the Environment Agency can also issue penalties of up to £400 to householders who fail to pass their waste to a licensed carrier and whose waste is then found fly-tipped. Those caught fly-tipping can receive an unlimited fine and a prison sentence of up to five years. As I say all too frequently - please don't destroy what you have come to enjoy."
So, long story short, if you want to live your best life and hit the beach, then you do you, but please, for everyone else's sake, be considerate of the people who live there and take your rubbish back home with you.
Featured Image Credit: Kat Edwards