Council bosses called out over St Albans Verulamium Lake litter problem

Rubbish in Verulamium Park.

Rubbish in Verulamium Park. - Credit: Archant

A litter picking dog-walker has called out council bosses over the volume of rubbish blighting Verulamium Lake.

Howard Berry by Verulamium Lake.

Howard Berry by Verulamium Lake. - Credit: Archant

Howard Berry walks his dogs round the water most mornings picking out non-biodegradable debris from the edge of the lake - including crisp packets, unused dog poo bags, and drinks bottles.

Because Howard has not visited much over the last two weeks, on Saturday morning he found a build up of rubbish from his time away.

“Normally I hope I am not the only person who clears it, because it’s my conviction that it’s partly my responsibility because I use the park.

“I just looked at the pile and thought, this is rubbish. This should be stopped, why do I have to do this? It’s disappointing.

“People are being lazy, it’s people not taking due care then they are throwing things away.”

Although he acknowledges that lake patrons should be more conscientious, Howard believes the district council should install more visible bins for visitors not familiar with the park layout.

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“It is complete absenteeism of the council in doing what should be done.

“There’s no passing effort to make it clear, I don’t know if they don’t have the budget or the staff or something, but it seems like I shouldn’t have to pull out as much as I do. “It looks bad, it smells foul, it’s bad for the park, it’s bad for the animals, and it’s bad for St Albans. The lake could be a thing of beauty rather than a cesspit.”

Council head of community services Debbi White said: “We are aware that litter and other debris blows into the lake and often gets trapped at the sides. Our park rangers clear it up on a daily basis and we regularly inspect their work.

“Our grounds maintenance contractor is looking to recruit an extra ranger to the team, dedicated to looking after the lake over the busy summer period. One of their duties will be to carry out litter sweeps more frequently.

“The ranger will also be instructed to engage with visitors at the splash park and other popular spots, reminding them not to drop litter such as discarded drink bottles, cans, crisp packets and sandwich wrappers.

“We feel there are an adequate number of bins sited at strategic points in the park and they are emptied at regular intervals throughout the day.”