Fresh bids unite Portsmouth against litterbug scourge

Swans feed in Canoe Lake surrounded by litter Picture: 
Lorna Wilkinson
Swans feed in Canoe Lake surrounded by litter Picture: Lorna Wilkinson
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DOZENS of volunteers are set to begin their own war against litterbugs whose waste is blighting a beauty spot and endangering wildlife.

A community drive has been launched to clear-up Canoe Lake, in Southsea, after a surge of rubbish was reportedly left dumped around the leisure site.

Set up on Facebook by Southsea resident Chantelle Burton, the event is rapidly gaining support from others disgusted by te recent rise in litter.

It comes as the city council is set to launch a new effort to tackle the island’s litterbugs.

Ms Burton, 26, regularly walks around the lake and said the litter situation is ‘the worst she has ever seen.’

She said: ‘I spend a lot of time down Canoe Lake and increasingly the amount of litter getting dumped is ridiculous. Every day it’s getting more and more visible in the lake and around the outskirts. This is definitely the worst it’s been in a long time.

‘There was a Facebook post regarding a swan tangled in a plastic carrier bag. It’s just getting too much.’

More than 100 people have already shown their interest in joining the clear-up, which is taking place on Remembrance Sunday, next week.

The three-hour event will see volunteers picking up litter from around the park.

It comes as Portsmouth City Council’s leisure and culture boss, Councillor Linda Symes, seeks to tackle the island’s litter woes with new awareness drives.

On Monday, the council is beginning a trial clear-up of one of the city’s main shopping areas, Commercial Road.

The aim is to clean the pavement, discouraging shoppers from dumping more waste in the pedestrian precinct.

And Cllr Symes said the authority is also looking to fork out £5,000 on a new sculpture to highlight the impact litter dumped in the sea can have on the natural habitat.

Known as Project Big Fish, the aim is to create a ‘substantial’ metal fish skeleton, showing just how much plastic and rubbish is eaten by fish.

Cllr Symes – who welcomed the Canoe Lake cleaning bid – said: ‘This is all about raising people’s awareness about how damaging littering can be.

‘It’s something as a council we are determined to tackle.’

The clean up is from midday. For details, see ‘Canoe Lake Clean Up’ on Facebook.