'Take it home' warning as litter pickers find knickers, tents and dinghies

Jon Williamson found a huge amount of rubbish in his neighbouring park over Bank Holiday weekend

Jon Williamson found a huge amount of rubbish in his neighbouring park over Bank Holiday weekend - Credit: Jon Williamson

People in Norwich already "fed up" with the amount of litter piling up in community spaces say the hot weather should be no excuse for "needless destruction of the environment".

Jon Williamson, 42, lives next to Anderson's Meadow and Wensum Nature Trail just outside the city - but says over the bank holiday weekend the trail became more "dumping ground" than beauty spot.

Overflowing bins at Anderson's Park and Wensum Nature Trail over the Bank Holiday

Overflowing bins at Anderson's Park and Wensum Nature Trail over the Bank Holiday - Credit: Jon Williamson

He said: "Whenever the sun comes out in this country, needless destruction of the environment begins. 

"Over the bank holiday the litter was a disgrace. I tried to pick up as much as I could but it was a mammoth task.

"On Monday I found discarded disposable barbeques, tents, inflatable dinghies and even tissues people have used to wiped their backsides with."

An information board exploring the Wensum Valley Nature Trail has been vandalised

An information board exploring the Wensum Valley Nature Trail and its importance has been vandalised - Credit: Jon Williamson


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Mr Williamson, who works as an environmental photojournalist, said it was so upsetting because the area was a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

He added: "I love kayaking, and during the pandemic there were parts of the river I could actually see clearly for the first time in years.

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"Now, I've gone back to having to wade through cigarette butts, human faeces, nappies and sanitary towels."

He said that what's needed is more and bigger bins, more council patrols and general education about the environmental impact of littering on wildlife and ecology.

Jon Williamson

Jon Williamson said it was devastating to see so much litter over the Bank Holiday weekend in Norwich - Credit: Jon Williamson

A Norwich City Council spokesperson said: "We know many people have been enjoying and rediscovering the city's beautiful open spaces during lockdown and we want this to continue.

“Litter should always be put in the bins provided but we’re aware that they can get full quickly, particularly over busy weekends like we’ve just had, so we’d encourage everyone to take their litter home or find an alternative bin if this is the case."

Meanwhile, Steve Bowden, 40, whose company DMD Group sponsored and took part in a litter pick in Taverham and Drayton over the weekend, said the problem stretches beyond the city centre area.

26 bin bags of rubbish were collected, equalling 114kg.

Taverham and Drayton Litter Pickers collected 26 bags of rubbish at the weekend

Taverham and Drayton Litter Pickers collected 26 bags of rubbish at Thorpe Marriott at the weekend - Credit: Taverham and Drayton Litter Pickers

He said: "There's been a huge increase in littering since lockdown eased where I live in Taverham.

"I've never seen the village look so pristine as it did in lockdown, but recently litter levels are picking up.

"At the weekend there were so many crisp packets and beer cans.

"We even found a car wing mirror and a pair of knickers."



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