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Runner’s fury as Norwich park is ‘trashed’

PUBLISHED: 08:25 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:44 13 August 2020

Some of the rubbish left in Eaton Park, Norwich, which was discovered by Claire Johnson on August 11, 2020. Picture: Claire Johnson

Some of the rubbish left in Eaton Park, Norwich, which was discovered by Claire Johnson on August 11, 2020. Picture: Claire Johnson

Claire Johnson

A runner has spoken of her shock after seeing piles of rubbish next to empty bins in a popular park.

Some of the rubbish left in Eaton Park, Norwich, which was discovered by Claire Johnson on August 11, 2020. Picture: Claire JohnsonSome of the rubbish left in Eaton Park, Norwich, which was discovered by Claire Johnson on August 11, 2020. Picture: Claire Johnson

Mother-of-two Claire Johnson, 41, from Christchurch Road in Norwich, saw takeaway food and drink wrappers, plastic soft drink bottles, metal drinks can ring pulls and dirty face masks next to the skate park in Eaton Park, Norwich, at around 7.30am on Tuesday, August 11.

Eaton Park pictured in April 2020. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANEaton Park pictured in April 2020. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

She was so appalled by the sight she stopped her 3.5-mile run for six minutes in which time she picked up around 70 items of rubbish which comfortably fitted into nearby bins.

People out cycling and exercising in Eaton Park during lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPeople out cycling and exercising in Eaton Park during lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mrs Johnson, who has a six-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy, was joined by two other park-goers and estimated they picked up over 100 pieces of rubbish.

She said: “It was upsetting to see the local park trashed. It is very disrespectful and I felt saddened and so cross.”

The medical secretary said the rubbish was strewn in a 10m area on grass about 10 paces from the bin.

“It was extraordinary. It wasn’t a bin issue,” she added.

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The mother-of-two described Eaton Park as a beautiful historic open space which had become more popular during the coronavirus outbreak while some places remained and continued to remain inaccessible.

She said the grass area where the rubbish was left was where children and their parents played and was concerned about the metal ring pulls causing a danger.

Mrs Johnson added: “I instil in my children to pick their rubbish up. You don’t want it getting into the wider environment.”

Matthew Packer, cabinet member for health and wellbeing on Norwich City Council, said: “One of the things that has been remarkable during this pandemic is just how much people have appreciated and valued their local parks and open spaces. This is why our parks team and colleagues at Norwich Norse Environmental have worked hard to make sure these spaces are as clean and safe as they can be – and this includes litter picks throughout the day, everyday – so they can remain open, as they play such an important role in our health and wellbeing.

“We’re proud to have incredible groups of volunteers who play an invaluable part in litter-picking and caring for these spaces. There is a very small minority of people who are being careless with their rubbish and we urge everyone to dispose of all litter responsibly.”


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