'Remove your litter - you're not at a festival'

Ranger Steve Tatlock

Ranger Steve Tatlock

First published in News by , Reporter

A ‘FESTIVAL mentality’ is blighting some of our most beautiful countryside, according to Lake District National Park rangers.

Dumped sleeping bags, left-over barbecues and picnic remains have led to a plea from rangers about rubbish being left in the area’s car parks and beauty spots.

One of the hottest summers in recent years has seen a surge of people enjoying the iconic countryside.

But thoughtless actions by a few are spoiling it for the vast majority, said the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA).

LDNPA ranger Steve Tatlock estimates that clearing up ‘the spoils of picnics, barbecues and camping’ increases rangers’ and volunteers’ workload by around 20 per cent.

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“There’s a festival mentality creeping in and we’ve come across sites that look like the Marie Celeste, with cooking equipment and camping gear left behind,” he said.

“We’ve even had sleeping bags and tents dumped in car parks.

“Many well-meaning people leave bags of rubbish, assuming they will be picked up in regular refuse collections.

“This happens in urban areas but in the countryside it would be impossible.”

Mr Tatlock said there was ‘no way of knowing’ whether tourists or locals were the main culprits.

“We need to get the message out there that if the public wants to continue enjoying our landscape they must play a part in protecting it.

“We’ve got to appeal to everyone to take their litter home, or to the nearest bins.”

A similar problem exists in the nearby Yorkshire Dales National Park, where Area Ranger Cat Kilner said it was becoming increasingly common for disgruntled visitors to take to social media to complain about litter.

“I think if that was your only experience of a National Park it would probably put you off coming back again.”

Jan Darrall, Friends of the Lake District Policy Officer, said as well as being ‘unsightly’, litter “could put people off coming to the Lakes.

“We have such beautiful landscape and it’s a shame that some people don’t take responsibility so everyone else can enjoy it.” Concerns have also been raised about the danger litter can pose for wildlife.

Sarah Johnson, conservation officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said: “Small mammals looking for food can get trapped in containers, tin cans or bottles.

“Plastic bags can trap and suffocate any animals that climb into them, or try to eat them.”

Thrown away glass is particularly dangerous – as well as being a potential fire hazard it can cause serious injury by lacerating the paws of wild or domestic animals.

A spokesperson for the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy said: “Our national beauty spots are havens for wildlife and unspoilt views.

“We cannot allow litter that has been left by visitors to blight this.”

Comments (8)

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7:32pm Fri 15 Aug 14

tourer says...

Interesting comments by the national park ranger about litter, which is a growing problem and should be addressed.In an ideal world people should take there litter home and most folk do.
but lets for a moment take a look at spin coming from the national park operative. About 3 years ago the lake district national quietly removed the litter bins from there carparks, including the large carpark in Hawkshead which attracts visitors from all over the world on a daily basis . also the carpark generates a large amount of money,
In australia the national park provides areas for visitors to enjoy and that includes barbque and litter facilites , Having highlighted the issue 3 years ago with very little interest from anyone , it looks very much like the chickens have come home to roost
Interesting comments by the national park ranger about litter, which is a growing problem and should be addressed.In an ideal world people should take there litter home and most folk do. but lets for a moment take a look at spin coming from the national park operative. About 3 years ago the lake district national quietly removed the litter bins from there carparks, including the large carpark in Hawkshead which attracts visitors from all over the world on a daily basis . also the carpark generates a large amount of money, In australia the national park provides areas for visitors to enjoy and that includes barbque and litter facilites , Having highlighted the issue 3 years ago with very little interest from anyone , it looks very much like the chickens have come home to roost tourer
  • Score: 11

11:51pm Fri 15 Aug 14

lakesailor says...

This has been happening for years. When we had a B&B in Bowness we would see visitors arrive back at their cars parked on Rayrigg Road. Eat their take-away, put the remains out of the car door, into the gutter and drive off.
People camp in private fields around Bowness and Windermere and just leave their mess when they go
The Lake District is reaping what it has cultivated. Instead of getting people come to the area for it's special qualities we are getting those who are here instead of Blackpool or the Costas.
The efforts to make the area a destination for day visitors is backfiring. Day visitors don't stay overnight, rarely use restaurants and hang around the honeypot locations but don't support local businesses. But they do throw away their rubbish before going home.
No wonder the hotel operators are looking to Japan and China to get a better income stream.
This has been happening for years. When we had a B&B in Bowness we would see visitors arrive back at their cars parked on Rayrigg Road. Eat their take-away, put the remains out of the car door, into the gutter and drive off. People camp in private fields around Bowness and Windermere and just leave their mess when they go The Lake District is reaping what it has cultivated. Instead of getting people come to the area for it's special qualities we are getting those who are here instead of Blackpool or the Costas. The efforts to make the area a destination for day visitors is backfiring. Day visitors don't stay overnight, rarely use restaurants and hang around the honeypot locations but don't support local businesses. But they do throw away their rubbish before going home. No wonder the hotel operators are looking to Japan and China to get a better income stream. lakesailor
  • Score: 2

7:24am Sat 16 Aug 14

littlemy says...

It's not just the visitors, the road over the Helm at oxenholme is frequently strewn with empty pizza boxes, burger cartons, coffee cups and vodka bottles left by our lovely locals.
It's not just the visitors, the road over the Helm at oxenholme is frequently strewn with empty pizza boxes, burger cartons, coffee cups and vodka bottles left by our lovely locals. littlemy
  • Score: 3

2:57pm Sat 16 Aug 14

WebMoaners says...

lakesailor - how do you know who dropped the rubbish or where they holiday! On the basis of these remarks I would have hated staying at your bandb - did it fail by any chance? Do you always make crude generalisations about people based on where they holiday?
lakesailor - how do you know who dropped the rubbish or where they holiday! On the basis of these remarks I would have hated staying at your bandb - did it fail by any chance? Do you always make crude generalisations about people based on where they holiday? WebMoaners
  • Score: -2

5:10pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Bernadettebunty says...

As a frequent visitor to the Lake District and especially to the Dunmallard Car Park in Pooley Bridge I have recently found more and more plastic carrier bags full of picnic remains, disposable nappies and dog-mess bags left at the car park entrance. If I remember correctly there used to be a large litter bin there (usually overflowing) but when looking for it to put our litter in I saw there was no bin there. In fact I don't think there is a litter bin in the whole of Pooley Bridge. This seems to be widespread around the Lake District as a whole. There is also lacking any notices telling folks to take their litter home with them so why expect 'tourists' to think of this for themselves - there is a 'monkey see, monkey do' tendency one person leaves a bag so others add to the pile. My usual rant is the amount of dog mess left on popular walks - many of those that do pick it up just then drop the bags as there are no bins to put it in! BTW We take our litter home with us unless we see a bin where it can be deposited - and this includes our 'doggy-bags!
As a frequent visitor to the Lake District and especially to the Dunmallard Car Park in Pooley Bridge I have recently found more and more plastic carrier bags full of picnic remains, disposable nappies and dog-mess bags left at the car park entrance. If I remember correctly there used to be a large litter bin there (usually overflowing) but when looking for it to put our litter in I saw there was no bin there. In fact I don't think there is a litter bin in the whole of Pooley Bridge. This seems to be widespread around the Lake District as a whole. There is also lacking any notices telling folks to take their litter home with them so why expect 'tourists' to think of this for themselves - there is a 'monkey see, monkey do' tendency one person leaves a bag so others add to the pile. My usual rant is the amount of dog mess left on popular walks - many of those that do pick it up just then drop the bags as there are no bins to put it in! BTW We take our litter home with us unless we see a bin where it can be deposited - and this includes our 'doggy-bags! Bernadettebunty
  • Score: 0

7:25am Mon 18 Aug 14

Pringle1982 says...

The stupid thing is they are quite happy to carry this stuff to the place they are going, but not carry the rubbish back. It's disgusting and dangerous, these people whoever they are should be ashamed.
The stupid thing is they are quite happy to carry this stuff to the place they are going, but not carry the rubbish back. It's disgusting and dangerous, these people whoever they are should be ashamed. Pringle1982
  • Score: 3

10:16pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Kendalien says...

"Festival mentality"?! I'd rather people didn't leave their rubbish at festivals either, I don't like the implication that littering at a festival is fine or the use of a festival to represent an environment of bad behaviour!
As for the actual issue at hand, it seems to be teenagers behind it more than anyone else, and I don't doubt that a spoiled home life is cultivating such irresponsible attitudes. If their parents are picking up after them at home, they assume someone else will elsewhere, kids don't take responsibility for their own actions these days. Harsh fines would help deter the childish behaviour, whilst investing in more litter bins and signage would help no end of course!
"Festival mentality"?! I'd rather people didn't leave their rubbish at festivals either, I don't like the implication that littering at a festival is fine or the use of a festival to represent an environment of bad behaviour! As for the actual issue at hand, it seems to be teenagers behind it more than anyone else, and I don't doubt that a spoiled home life is cultivating such irresponsible attitudes. If their parents are picking up after them at home, they assume someone else will elsewhere, kids don't take responsibility for their own actions these days. Harsh fines would help deter the childish behaviour, whilst investing in more litter bins and signage would help no end of course! Kendalien
  • Score: 0

9:12am Tue 19 Aug 14

Evan Owen says...

This is a common problem everywhere, in towns and supermarket car parks, on trains and planes. I live in Snowdonia and these days we find the contents of a caravan in laybys, beds and fridges dumped. Oh and bits of horses this year!!

The designation of private land as a national park means the only bits the "Ranger" is responsible for is the car parks and the tarmac, if his employer provided the proper facilities for people to picnic and he supervised it instead of spending so much time talking to the media we might get somewhere.
This is a common problem everywhere, in towns and supermarket car parks, on trains and planes. I live in Snowdonia and these days we find the contents of a caravan in laybys, beds and fridges dumped. Oh and bits of horses this year!! The designation of private land as a national park means the only bits the "Ranger" is responsible for is the car parks and the tarmac, if his employer provided the proper facilities for people to picnic and he supervised it instead of spending so much time talking to the media we might get somewhere. Evan Owen
  • Score: 0

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