Rise in damage to open spaces and littering prompts urgent council appeal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 July 2020

Signs will go up across Weston seafront this week.     Picture: North Somerset Council

Signs will go up across Weston seafront this week. Picture: North Somerset Council

North Somerset Council

People are being urged to respect open spaces after North Somerset Council has seen a rise in damage and littering in these areas across the district.

Entrance to Abbots Pool nature reserve in Abbots Leigh.          Picture: Google Street ViewEntrance to Abbots Pool nature reserve in Abbots Leigh. Picture: Google Street View

The appeal from the authority follows a catalogue of ‘shocking incidents’ across the area.

The council has already closed Abbots Pool nature reserve in Abbots Leigh, following increasing concerns for public health, issues with environmental damage and anti-social behaviour.

Since the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed, more people have visited the site, and the council said issues have ‘worsened considerably’ during the hot weather.

Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve 2Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve 2

The authority says visitors have been ignoring social distancing, and ‘using the site as a toilet’, which it says poses a ‘significant threat’ to public health.

Additional problems at the site include large amounts of litter, damage to woodland and verges on the track leading to the site and to the eco-system of the pool, which has been used for swimming, despite no swimming allowed on-site.

The council has also seen issues at the bird watching hides at Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve in the last couple of weeks.

A real variation of wildlife lives at the nature reserve.A real variation of wildlife lives at the nature reserve.

The authority said littering has become a daily occurrence and cattle have been seen eating rubbish, which is a ‘lethal threat’ to the animals.

Weston seafront has also seen huge volumes of rubbish ‘dumped’ on the beach, which has lead the council to produce ‘don’t be a tosser’ signs, which have been put up on Weston seafront this week and rolled out across the area in the next few weeks.

The council is also reinforcing social distancing guidelines with ‘eye-catching’ stencil artwork, which will be sprayed onto pavements and hard surfaces in popular open spaces.

Deputy leader of the council, Mike Bell, said he is ‘disgusted’ by the number of incidents regarding litter and damage in the region.

He said: “North Somerset is a beautiful area with many varied and interesting open spaces to visit, how people can spoil them for others is beyond me.

“Their actions are selfish and irresponsible and show no regard for wildlife, livestock or our wider community. Shame on you.”

The council wants to reiterate that anyone caught littering will be fined by the authority.


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