Litter louts increase park problems

Big clean-up: Rubbish bags are filled by council workers at Worden Park each day
Big clean-up: Rubbish bags are filled by council workers at Worden Park each day

Litter bugs have been condemned for blighting a flagship Leyland park with “colossal” amounts of rubbish.

Worden Park, a Grade II listed area, has held the Green Flag award for excellence since the scheme began.

However, users have spoken of their anger after piles of rubbish were left strewn about the park last week.

It comes after two full skips of rubbish was left dumped on Preston’s Avenham and Miller Parks when temperatures topped 21C last week.

One regular Worden Park user claims some students from neighbouring Runshaw College, who use the park in between classes and during lunch breaks, left the park covered with litter and food waste during the warm spell.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “There are glass bottles, food and packets everywhere.

“The amount of litter left on the fields is just colossal.

“It’s an absolute disgrace.”

South Ribble Council workers clean the park at the end of each day and collect bags of rubbish from the area near the over-spill car park.

The woman added: “Runshaw College and the council do their best to help, but it’s almost impossible to control.

“It would need a constant presence of council workers to stop the problem.

“Because when the weather has been so nice, there are literally hundreds of students coming here. They’re here all day in between lectures, not just at dinner time.

“I think it makes some people avoid the park. I just don’t know what can be done.

“It’s a serious issue now. It’s getting out of hand.”

Bosses at Runshaw College provided bins to the park a few years ago to help encourage users to clean up after themselves, but the frustrated resident says it has not put an end to the littering.

Coun Peter Mullineaux, Deputy Leader of South Ribble Council, said: “It’s very disappointing there has been an increase in the amount of litter we’re picking up at Worden Park.

“The recent spell of warmer weather has attracted more people to the park, and most behave responsibly by putting their litter in one of the many bins around the park.

“Unfortunately a minority of thoughtless visitors are spoiling others’ enjoyment of the park by leaving their litter lying around.

“There is really no excuse for this sort of selfish behaviour.”

He added: “The council works hard to look after Worden Park, which has won 15 consecutive Green Flag awards and is recognised as one of the country’s best green spaces.

“Our parks staff, friends group and volunteers all take great pride in Worden Park, and I would encourage all visitors to do the same.”

A spokesman for Runshaw stressed they believed it was not just their students who were behind the littering, but other visitors as well.

He said: “We have reaffirmed our respect the community message to students via a variety of means and significantly boosted our litter picking presence on the park.

“It is also clear that litter is also being left on the park during the warm weather spell by local youths in the evenings.”