YEOVIL AREA NEWS: Litter louts turn Ham Hill Country Park into an eyesore
COUNTRYSIDE rangers from South Somerset District Council are considering removing litter bins from the Ham Hill Country Park after it became looking more like a landfill site than a Green Flag Award-winning site.
Ham Hill Country Park was subjected to a vast amount of littering on Saturday and Sunday (May 19-20, 2018) as visitors used the site to eat and drink, but left behind an unacceptable amount of litter.
Whilst residents in South Somerset are encouraged to ‘bag it and bin it’, removing litter bins from Ham Hill Country Park may be the only option to try and ensure that people take their rubbish with them, rather than allowing it to blow all over the historic country park site.
Rachael Whaites, countryside manager at South Somerset District Council, said: “It has taken two staff three hours to remove waste from beside bins and across the greenspace after visitors left waste behind on Sunday.
“We already had staff in on Saturday and so the debris found this morning was only from Sunday. This time would have been far better spent maintaining the historic site, delivering site improvements like the woodland play trail and continuing the wildlife monitoring programmes that are underway at this time of the year.
“Not only does leaving litter ruin the experience for other visitors, it could also be dangerous, with an increased risk of fire or injury to visitors and their dogs from the mountains of usually BBQ and drinks related waste left lying around.
“The litter also has ecological implications: attracting mammals and birds and it has a detrimental effect on the grassland habitats of the country park.
“We ask that those who visit Ham Hill Country Park take rubbish away with them and do not have fires or BBQs on the grass. We cannot have another summer where we spend more time litter picking than working on managing the site for the benefit of all our visitors.”
Removing the litter bins from across the site and also the barbeque plinths will now be discussed by the Countryside Team as a way of tackling the issue.
Cllr Sylvia Seal, the council’s spokesman for leisure and culture, said: “It’s a real shame that the hard work of the rangers and volunteers is ruined by a minority of people who leave litter at our countryside sites.
“If you see that a bin is full, bag your litter and take it home. Please don’t leave it beside the bin – it’s not helpful and it’s not good for the environment. Keep a rubbish or carrier bag in your car so that you can easily bag it and take it home where it can be recycled and disposed of.”
To learn more about Ham Hill Country Park and other Country Park sites across South Somerset, visit www.southsomersetcountryside.com.