Ashfield District Council is running a new campaign over the summer months focussing on reducing littering and anti-social behaviour in our parks.
The campaign, developed by Keep Britain Tidy, comes after a new survey, carried out by the environmental charity, shows that more than half of the country’s parks have had to pull in extra resources to deal with the issues, including litter and anti-social behaviour, since lockdown was eased.
Of those, 81% had had to spend more on clearing up litter, 79% on bin emptying and 72% on maintaining public order or enforcing lockdown rules. Councils also reported clearing up, on average, 57 tonnes of additional waste from their park.
Cllr Samantha Deakin, Ward Councillor for Sutton said “Since lockdown restrictions lifted we’ve had reports of play equipment being damaged, people failing to pick up their litter and after their dogs. Sutton Lawn is our flag ship park and is a fantastic place to visit. The park keepers have done an amazing job with the planting, there’s a new grass maze for the children to enjoy along with new play equipment.
“Parks have been more important than ever during lockdown, and at a time when our staff are going above and beyond to continue to deliver front line services, we ask residents to be kind to our parks and green spaces. All our parks and green spaces are great places to visit, so we ask, please take your litter home with you, respect the wildlife and report any issues of anti-social behaviour to ourselves or the police. We are proud to be partnering with Keep Britain Tidy on this campaign. My message to all residents is please be kind to our parks.”
Richard McIlwain, Deputy Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “The UK was the birthplace of the public park and their value was recognised by many people during lockdown, as a haven of greenspace for exercise and relaxation.
“But, as lockdown measures have eased, we’ve seen a significant minority of people abuse these treasured spaces, with shocking scenes of anti-social behaviour, leading to littering, people using parks as toilets and abuse of parks staff.
“This campaign, which has been made available to every local authority in the country and which is based on behavioural science, will act as an effective nudge to actively encourage people to treat our beautiful parks – and the amazing staff who work in them – with respect this summer.”
There is no excuse to leave rubbish behind, and councils can issue fines of up to £150 to those caught doing it. If you are unable to dispose of litter, then please take it home so you don’t destroy what you have come to enjoy.