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Litter louts have been making almost five times as much mess in Rochford District’s parks and open spaces during lockdown.
The council’s crews had to tip more than 15.5 tonnes of rubbish from these areas in the month June, compared to 3.2 tonnes over the same period last year.
Now, as the summer holidays have started and even more people are expected to hit parks and play areas, the council is keen to prevent the problem from escalating.
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cllr Arthur Williams, said: “We are extremely lucky in the Rochford District to have acres of stunning parks and open spaces, with a total of 14 ancient woodlands right on our doorsteps.
“During lockdown, our residents have been able to make the most of these spaces to get fresh air and exercise, supporting their mental health and wellbeing.
“It is such a shame that the minority are abusing these areas, many of which are of great ecological importance, and leaving litter strewn around and putting pressure on our crews.
“As we move to the summer months I would urge everyone to be responsible, so that we can all continue to enjoy our local environment.”