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Patrolling parks to cut litter

The council is increasing the amount of enforcement officers patrolling parks to ensure that irresponsible individuals who leave their litter strewn around for others to clear up are held to account.

Summer is here and local people are heading to local parks to enjoy the summer weather and beautiful green spaces across the borough.

But unfortunately, like all councils, Ealing has seen an increase in the amount of litter being left in parks as people enjoy the warm weather, following the relaxation of some of the government’s COVID-19 social-distancing measures.

People are urged to respect parks and other visitors by taking all litter and rubbish home with them.

Officers from the council’s contractor Kingdom have upped their patrols in green spaces which are experiencing increased cases of littering. Anyone caught dropping or leaving rubbish risks a fixed-penalty-notice (FPN) of up to £150 or even prosecution.

Park rangers have reported an increase of abandoned picnics in local parks, where irresponsible individuals have left food, plastic packaging, pizza boxes, cans, bottles and litter discarded, following a visit.

Not only is this costly to the council and terrible for environment, it is also deeply unpleasant for the vast majority who rely on outdoor spaces for exercise and enjoyment.

But plenty of residents are taking action and the council is thanking local volunteers who have been helping to clear up litter in several green spaces in the borough.

We are supporting litter picking activity by working with individuals and local groups organising litter picks, including LAGERCan (Litter Action Group for Local Residents), by giving out pick kits and bags and arranging collections of litter – all to help reduce the amount of rubbish left in parks.

There has been a huge increase people getting involved and in the last two weeks alone, LAGERCan has reported an increase in membership of over 17%.

It has given out more than 30 litter pickers and 1,000 bags, and over 50 people have posted about their litter picking activities. To get involved, visit the LAGERCan facebook page.

Disposable barbecues risk serious environmental damage

The hot weather looks like it will continue, and people are being warned of the increased danger of disposable barbecues and fires, which are banned in the borough’s parks and green spaces at all times.

The council is supporting the London Fire Brigade as it works to prevent grass fires, which can lead to huge environmental damage and the destruction of plants, trees and wildlife.

Some of the most common causes of grass fires are barbecues left unattended, carelessly discarded cigarettes and matches, and glass bottles left on dry grass.

“Everyone has a responsibility to ensure our parks remain clean, safe and litter free”

Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said: “Ealing has so many wonderful parks and green spaces and in these summer temperatures, they will continue to prove popular with residents for socialising and exercise.

“It is absolutely vital that everyone treats our parks and their follow visitors with the upmost respect. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure our parks remain clean, safe and litter-free. It only takes an irresponsible minority to cause harm to our parks and ruin the enjoyment of others.

“If people can bring food and packaging to the park, they can take the packaging home with them whether the bins are full or empty – there’s no excuse to litter or use disposable barbeques.

By following social distancing rules and respecting other park users, we can ensure that Ealing’s parks and green spaces are safe, open and welcoming for all.”

Visitors are also reminded parks are not public toilets, so don’t treat it or the surrounding streets as such.  The council will prosecute people seen urinating or defecating in the borough’s open spaces.

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