Rubbish described as a ‘desecration’

Litter at the Tenantry Column in Alnwick
Litter at the Tenantry Column in Alnwick

Litter louts and fly-tippers have been slammed for spoiling the area, a week after volunteers gave up their time for a community clean-up.

Anger has erupted after bottles and cans and cardboard packaging was left by the Tenantry Column in Alnwick at the weekend.

Litter at the Tenantry Column in Alnwick

Litter at the Tenantry Column in Alnwick

And it happened less than seven days after more than 50 people turned out for a town tidy-up ahead of the holiday season.

Coun Gordon Castle said: “This desecration was brought to my attention by a local dog walker – there were over 40 beer bottles and two dozen cans, together with even the cardboard packing cases they came in, strewn inside and around the column fence.

“It is deeply discouraging for the great majority of residents who value the appearance of our fine town and its open spaces to be greeted with a scene like this around one if its most iconic monuments.

“This is only one week after 50 volunteers gave up their Sunday to help clear up the litter dropped by others around town.

Picture taken by Sarah Hutchinson of rubbish in Rugley Wood.

Picture taken by Sarah Hutchinson of rubbish in Rugley Wood.

“It is tempting to blame young people, and I am myself prone to assuming their guilt.

“However, information provided to me by a member of the public suggests that adults were responsible on this occasion, and I have forwarded details to Alnwick Police, who have promised to take action.

“The mess has now been cleared up by Northumberland County Council staff.”

During the same weekend, a resident found sofas, a bath and various other items dumped at Rugley Wood.

Sarah Hutchinson was out for a walk with her daughter and dog on Sunday when she came across the mess.

She said: “It’s obvious someone has parked on the bridge above and just thrown everything over the side.

“It’s not classy.

“There is a three-piece leather suite, an old iron bath, bits of bikes, red polystyrene insulating tubing and various other things that make the path quite dangerous to navigate with rusty metal springs and prongs poking everywhere.

“It’s such a shame as this is normally a great area to walk in, albeit very boggy in places - Rugley Wood is very pretty.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with people.”

The land is owned by Northumberland Estates which is considering putting up CCTV at Rugley to help deter fly-tipping

Steve Stubbings, from the Estates, said: “Every year the Estate spends a considerable amount of time and effort clearing up rubbish, such as this which has been left by fly-tippers.

“This is a problem which almost all farmers face and an expensive one at that. Recent figures from the National Farmers Union (NFU) suggest two in every three farmers in the country have to deal with fly tipping on their land every year.

“The people who do this are not only inconsiderate, spoiling the countryside for others and dumping potentially dangerous waste, but if caught, face the risk of prosecution.

“Often the rubbish is household waste which could have been disposed and even recycled, free of charge at the local council tip.

“This particular incident is currently being dealt with by us, and the Estate is seriously considering installing CCTV at some of the worst affected locations, including this one.”

Read more about the NFU’s fly-tipping campaign on Page 65.