St Albans urged not to drop litter in parks as lockdown eases

Cllr Rowlands with park ranger James Morgan at Verulamium Park. Picture: SADC

Cllr Rowlands with park ranger James Morgan at Verulamium Park. Picture: SADC - Credit: Archant

Visitors to St Albans parks are being urged not to drop litter and cause environmental damage during the coming weekend.

The council is expecting green spaces to be even busier than normal on what has been coined “Super Saturday”.

Many people are likely to be out celebrating the reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants after a shutdown of more than three months.

The extra numbers will generate excess rubbish, putting a further strain on waste disposal resources.

Park rangers report that they have been clearing five times more waste than they would normally do at this time of the year.

At their busiest time – weekends – they have been clearing up more than 500 black bin bags instead of the usual 100.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, portfolio holder for leisure, heritage and public realm, visited Verulamium Park to talk about the challenges faced by John O’Conner’s park rangers.

Most Read

He said: “Our rangers have been doing a fantastic job during lockdown when visitor numbers have gone sky high.

“It has been fabulous to see people enjoying and exploring our parks and open spaces and we’re expecting even more people on ‘Super Saturday’.

“We just want to remind people not to drop litter or let their celebrations get out of hand. Litter is not just unsightly and often difficult to clear up, it can be extremely bad for the environment.”

Another recent concern is the appearance of glass in the parks from bottles that have been deliberately smashed.

Glass can inflict injury to children, dogs and wildlife.

The council made a plea last month for people to clear up as they leave the parks and not drop litter, along with a number of actions taken at Verulamium and Clarence Parks in St Albans and Rothamsted Park in Harpenden, to deal with the issue.

Rangers have been carrying out extra bin-emptying patrols and larger bins have been placed in the parks.

Anthony added: “The vast majority of people have responded well to our plea for them not to litter. However, there is no excuse for dropping rubbish.

“We are all looking forward to ‘Super Saturday’ and I just ask people not to spoil the occasion by leaving a mess behind.”