Park is litter-strewn

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Banchory’s Bellfield Park was left litter-strewn following the warm weather at the weekend, according to a local resident.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said: “Over the weekend, people were having barbecues. I came down at 7.30am on Monday and it was a mess, although there are bins down there.

“These people can’t look after the park and are not clearing up after themselves - there’s bottles, cans and food left.”

Cllr Linda Clark said: “Bellfield Park has a perennial problem with this, as people converge there the moment we get beautiful weather. We welcome people coming into Banchory because the shops do well but my heart sinks at the prospect of the mess.

“I’m quite disgusted with what people will do. You can’t just lay this at the door of young people either, but at mums and dads and even grannies and grandads. I’d rather them stay away from Banchory if they can’t treat our beautiful area with respect.

“There is a saying when you visit the hills, ‘leave only your footprint,’ and that applies to going anywhere else - take your rubbish away. We are all ambassadors for our area and people who arrive with their things in the car should take them home in the car when they leave.”

Cllr Karen Clark added: “I would say as a councillor and caring about our environment as part of the Bonnie Banchory team, that it’s great to see so many people enjoying our park in this lovely weather, but such a pity they don’t take their litter home or deposit it in the bins provided at Bellfield.

“Our team from the council who pick up the litter and empty the bins daily are fantastic. They do a great job and it is much appreciated. However, those who drop litter should realise that it is their responsibility primarily not to leave a mess behind them.

“I find it hard to understand why people would never drop litter in their own home or their garden and yet when they get out in public they seem happy to leave their litter for someone else to tidy up.

“If local residents are keen to see action on litter they can join our annual Bonnie Banchory National Spring Clean community event on Sunday, May 6, and participate in cleaning up our town. We all have a responsibility.”

Cllr Jill Webster said: “It’s hugely frustrating that some people seem to think it’s OK to leave litter. It’s completely unacceptable and I can never understand why some people do it. They have enjoyed the park in the beautiful weather we have been having and they should let the next visitors to the park enjoy it as much as they have. Not only is it unsightly, but broken bottles etc. can be dangerous too.

“The council’s waste and landscape officers do a great job and clear it up very regularly but that’s not the way it should be.

“It’s costly, pointless and a complete waste of limited financial resources.

“The unseasonal weather has undoubtedly brought more people out and about than would normally be expected at this time of year which is great, but I would encourage people to take their litter home or use the park bins and recycling bins adjacent to the park.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of roads and landscape services, Philip McKay, said: “The bins at Bellfield Park were emptied on Monday morning by the team responsible for such duties. Bin emptying is carried out on a planned cyclical basis, and it is important that the team concentrate on these works so that the whole route can be attended to.

“General litter picking in the park is carried out on a different rota by a team responsible for a wide range of duties across our parks and open spaces.

“The unseasonably warm weather saw high numbers of residents enjoying Aberdeenshire’s outdoors, but unfortunately it also lead to higher than normal littering across a wider range of open spaces.

“Staff will be attending the area in question this morning and from the weekend ahead extra litter collections have been organised for our parks.

“We hope residents continue to enjoy the outdoors, especially during the nice weather, but ask for their consideration towards other groups, and the environment, by ensuring they remove all litter before they leave and recycle all appropriate materials at their nearest recycling facility or collection point.”