Damage to open spaces and rise in littering prompts urgent appeal

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 - Credit: North Somerset Council

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

Rubbish left on Weston beach. Picture: Richard Flew

Rubbish left on Weston beach. Picture: Richard Flew - Credit: Archant

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

The council said Uphill’s nature reserve has seen ‘significant damage’ caused to protected grassland by barbecues, fencing being removed as well as burnt and a field gate has also been damaged.

Litter ,including broken glass and plastic gloves, was also left at the site, which the authority says can cause a ‘lethal threat’ to cattle grazing on the hill.

More rubbish was left on Weston beach. Picture: Lisa Dibben

More rubbish was left on Weston beach. Picture: Lisa Dibben - Credit: Archant

Weston seafront has also seen ‘huge volumes’ of litter dumped on the beach over the past few months.


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More than 40 bags of rubbish were cleared from the area by volunteers after tourists flocked to the seafront during May Bank Holiday weekend and, earlier in June, the council put an additional 15 large 1,100-litre wheelie bins along the seafront and banners urging people to dispose of their litter responsibly to combat the problem.

However, this did not deter people from leaving rubbish on the beach as visitors descend on seafront at the end of that month, which saw volunteers once again forced to clean up the area.

More rubbish was left on Weston beach. Picture: Holly Law

More rubbish was left on Weston beach. Picture: Holly Law - Credit: Archant

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In response to these incidents, the council has now produced hard-hitting signs to stop people from littering on the beach.

The authority’s ‘don’t be a tosser’ signs will be put up on Weston seafront this week, and they will also be rolled out across other locations the district 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.

North Somerset Council’s deputy leader, Mike Bell, said he was ‘disgusted’ by the number of incidents regarding litter and damage in the area.

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 has reinforced the message that people caught littering in the district will also face a fine from the authority.

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