“Littering is ruining our riverside”: Calls for more fines for littering in Thetford

PUBLISHED: 07:48 26 August 2015

Rubbish in the river around Butten Island, Thetford

Rubbish in the river around Butten Island, Thetford

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015

Calls for tighter enforcement and increased maintenance of weeds have been made after Thetford’s riverside became a littering hotspot.

Rubbish in the river around Butten Island, ThetfordRubbish in the river around Butten Island, Thetford

Litterbugs have dumped an assortment of bottles, crisp packets, boxes and even bicycles in the Little Ouse during the summer months, with the debris getting caught up in overgrown weeds on the waterway’s banks.

Conservation groups have now called for local authorities and law enforcement to clamp down on offenders and get the area tidied up.

Thetford Town Council is currently coordinating the Little Ouse Project, a scheme to open the river to canoeists and kayakers and improve conservation, among other priorities.

Stuart Wright, who chaired the group’s first meeting, said enforcement was the first step.

“We need to look at catching the perpetrators because there’s no enforcement going on, and maybe handing a out a few £80 fines would put people off.

“We’ve got this lovely feature in the middle of the town, which people are always saying we should do more with, but we are ruining it.

“People need to respect the river, and please use the litter bins provided in the town centre,” he said.

Volunteers have carried out much of the litter-picking on the riverside and Spring Walk in recent years.

But a spokesman for Breckland Council insisted it will still be collecting at sites it owns.

He said: “Breckland’s litter-clearing contractor will continue to check for and clear litter from the river in areas where it runs adjacent to land owned by the council.

“This is not a simple task, particularly at this time of year when there is a prevalence of algae, but we will do all we can to keep the area clear and tidy for residents and visitors.

“We urge people to help us keep the town clean by using the litter bins provided.

“Loose litter is a nuisance on the streets and can easily blow into the river where it can spoil what is otherwise one of the town’s many picturesque features.”

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