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Rubbish bins removed after walkers leave trail of destruction at beauty spot

PUBLISHED: 11:32 11 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:29 11 June 2020

Dedham Parish Council have announced that litter bins will be removed from the gate to the River Stour path after

Dedham Parish Council have announced that litter bins will be removed from the gate to the River Stour path after "dangerous" littering. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A parish council have been forced to remove litter bins from Dedham Vale after crowds of visitors left a trail of “unsightly” and “dangerous” rubbish.

Visitors flocked to the River Stour at Dedham and Stratford St Mary during the sunny weather. Picture: PETER CUTTSVisitors flocked to the River Stour at Dedham and Stratford St Mary during the sunny weather. Picture: PETER CUTTS

The tourism hot spot has been inundated with crowds during the weeks of fine weather - but as a result the litter issue has escalated with disposable barbecues, glass bottles and even human excrement left behind.

And even those who do clear up after themselves have been dumping rubbish next to already over-flowing rubbish bins down by the River Stour, leaving it for teams of volunteers to clear the next morning.

Now the parish council feel they have no option but to remove the bins in the hope it will encourage people to take their rubbish home.

Dedham Parish Council released a statement on Wednesday evening explaining they had been in discussions with Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Stour Valley Project, the landowner, Stratford St Mary Parish Council and Colchester Borough Council to have the litter bins by the river footpath entrance removed.

They said: “Sadly, a small number of these visitors have left a trail of rubbish and detritus in their wake. The area down by the river has been a particular focus.

“Not only is this rubbish unsightly, it is also dangerous to the cattle and wild animals that access the River Stour here.

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“As well as leaving items such as disposable barbeques, items of clothing, bottles and cans and human excrement behind, visitors are also piling up rubbish beside the litter bins which have been emptied by Colchester Borough Council staff twice a day on particularly busy days.”

MORE: Investigation launched after video shows cows given alcohol in Dedham

Bins have been successfully removed from other beauty spots experiencing similar issues and it has encouraged people to take waste home with them.

The statement continued: “There will be new signage to this effect which will also discourage barbeques and clarify that this area is not a public open space but simply a footpath along which to enjoy a walk along the river.

“This approach has been shown to work in other locations and will be for a trial period, which will be closely monitored.”

Dog waste bins will be relocated, but not removed, as the council recognised that it would be unsanitary to ask visitors to take dog waste home in their cars.

Suffolk County Council are also aware of some visitors practising in ‘tombstoning’ at the bridge – a dangerous act of jumping into water in a straight, upright vertical posture.

MORE: Dedham Vale Vinyard – 5 Suffolk wines you need to try


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