'Take your litter home' plea to Irchester Country Park day-trippers
Litter included beer cans, coffee cups, food wrappers, folding chairs and even a brand new barbecue
Rangers at a Wellingborough country park have urged visitors to be responsible for their own litter and not dump it at the beauty spot but take it home to dispose of properly.
The two-person ranger team at Irchester Country Park, with the help of volunteers, picked up more than 15 bags of discarded trash left by visitors yesterday in the meadows and play areas.
No rubbish bins are provided at the park to deter pests such as rats and wasps however dog waste specific bins are on site and emptied once a week.
Ranger Ana Pires said: "It is very concerning and difficult to understand why they leave it here. It is their rubbish so it is their responsibility. Leaving rubbish was never an option for me growing up but there are so many people doing the same thing.
"The time we are spending picking up rubbish should be spent by us in the park on the wildlife instead we are picking up litter - about 15 to 20 bags from yesterday.
"I have also found little mice dead inside bottles left on the ground. They climb in looking for food and get trapped."
Among the piles of cardboard, cans, food wrappers and drinks cups were many disposable charcoal burners, folding chairs and a brand new barbecue left on the site.
With the only bins provided those for dog poo, the waste bins have also been overflowing due to other rubbish being discarded inappropriately.
Ms Pires said: "People go for a walk with a coffee cup or a takeaway and then put it in one of the dog poo bins on their way round. That fills the dog poo bins so there's no space for dog waste. They are not being tidy.
"People seem to think that because they pay to park it gives them the right to leave their rubbish here. They should take their rubbish home."
The park reached capacity yesterday with hundreds of visitors arriving by car and looking for a space to park.
Visitor numbers have been high again today with the ranger team unsure of the rubbish they will find until the park is empty.
Ms Pires said: "We won't know until tomorrow morning how much rubbish we will have to pick up. People are allowed to have barbecues but they are asked to protect the grass by using bricks underneath.
"Your litter is your responsibility. If you brought it over, you must take it back. It isn't difficult if you simply take accountability for your own actions. To all our civilised visitors, thank you for doing your part."