Overnight Easter gatherings lead to a "a sad mess" of litter in Blackpool's Stanley Park
The easing of lockdown restrictions and this week's mild weather has led to overnight gatherings in the park, with some leaving a "sad mess" of cans, bottles, takeaway boxes and sweet packets in their wake.
Pictures taken this morning shows the litter scattered across the park's gardens, footpaths and woodlands. Litter also greeted families arriving early to the children's play areas, where empty alcohol bottles and cans were found near the play equipment.
The sight of the litter has left a bitter taste in the mouths of those who had eagerly sought out the park to avoid the hustle and bustle of the seafront.
Artist and youth worker, Brendan Bunting, said it was "sad to see Stanley Park left in a right mess" so soon after the easing of lockdown restrictions.
He tweeted: "Sad to see Stanley Park left in a right mess this morning from those using it last night. Friends of Stanley Park work tirelessly to keep the park looking nice.
"Think extra patrols of the park might be needed @BpoolCouncil @BlackpoolPolice."
The untidy scenes follow calls from Fylde coast councils to keep green spaces, streets and seafronts clean during the sunny bank holiday weekend.
Blackpool Council has warned that litter enforcement officers will be on patrol over Easter and officers can issue fixed penalty notices to anyone caught dropping rubbish.
Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for Tourism and Culture, said: "We look forward to people enjoying Blackpool once again as guidelines and restrictions have started to ease.
"However, we continue to send messages and information out to visitors and residents to emphasise social distancing responsibilities alongside the importance of keeping our town and our beaches litter free.
"Our much loved beaches and parks have been a lifeline for many through this incredibly difficult time so we urge people to protect our environment and use bins provided to dispose of litter or take it home.
"It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep Blackpool and elsewhere tidy and clean."