THEY are beauty spots in some of the area’s most stunning countryside, there to be enjoyed by everyone.
But a few people are spoiling them by dumping rubbish, dropping litter and not picking up dog mess in Horndean’s parks and nature reserves.
Countryside rangers from Horndean Parish Council recently spent an entire day clearing up just a few of the town’s beauty spots after the warm weather over the weekend of May 26 and 27.
An entire truck was filled with sacks of rubbish collected from Deep Dell Park, Downs Park, Recreation Ground, Jubilee Park and Merchistoun Hall.
There was also a small fly-tip below Catherington Down. It’s what the rangers have come to expect after a warm weekend but they say it’s time people changed their habits and thought about the effect on the countryside.
John Telford said: ‘Obviously some sites are worse than others and it’s quite regular in places.
‘Jubilee Park is probably the worst because it’s a focal point for young people and dog walkers.
‘It’s used by the football club but they are no problem.
‘All the sites are public recreation sites and they are there for the benefit of everyone.
‘If you drop litter you are spoiling other people’s enjoyment.
‘It is so important to keep these areas tidy.’
It is not only that it looks messy. Dropping litter has an impact on wildlife too.
Mr Telford added: ‘In Jubilee Park there are lots of hedgerows which are home to wildlife and when it’s windy all the rubbish gets blown into them, into creatures’ homes. There is a lot of dog fouling.
‘A lot of people are very good about picking it up while others just leave it on the floor even though there are bins.
‘It’s frustrating for us because it takes such little effort to do, it’s amazing that people persist in doing it.’
Because of the bad weather over the Jubilee weekend the rangers did not have such a big clear-up job this week.
But they are anticipating it will continue over the summer as more people enjoy the countryside.
Horndean Parish Councillor Sara Schillemore said she hopes by seeing the pictures, left, people will think twice about littering in the future.
She said: ‘It’s such a shame that people continue to drop their rubbish all over the countryside.
‘It’s great to see that so many people enjoy the parks but it is their responsibility to leave them as they find them.
‘Glass is a particular hazard to pets and wildlife.
‘I would ask them to consider the countryside and the precious resources of the parish council countryside rangers who should not have to spend so much time clearing up after irresponsible people. It is a waste of time and money.’