Council acts to bring an end to drugs den

Woods in Marsh Green which residents say are being used as a drugs den
Woods in Marsh Green which residents say are being used as a drugs den

WORK has finally begun to crack down on a notorious drugs den which has made the lives of residents a misery.

Residents in Marsh Green have been calling on Wigan Council and the police to do more to prevent groups of people taking illegal substances in a thick copse of vegetation in the middle of open land just off Beverley Road for several years.

All the residents have been complaining to the council for the past few years. If you go in there it’s literally rife with heroin needles

Beverley Road resident

Those living on nearby streets say heroin use is a daily nuisance in the area, which is very popular with local parents walking children to and from nearby primary schools.

The dense patch of shrubbery is popular with people looking to take illegal substances as it is thick enough to provide shelter from the rain and wind.

Residents say the most recent clean-up on the site resulted in thousands of used heroin needles being recovered and have asked the council to hack back the vegetation to prevent drug abusers gathering there, saying clumps of bushes elsewhere on the open land have already been heavily trimmed by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT).

Now their persistence has finally paid off as the local authority confirmed it has begun work to make the area a less attractive place for those looking to abuse illegal drugs.

One Beverley Road resident, who asked not to be named, said: “All the residents have been complaining to the council for the past few years. If you go in there it’s literally rife with heroin needles.

“Everyone who lives round here is really angry, especially the parents with young kids. There’s even mattresses in there which they all sit on.

“It’s a very serious problem. Every single day you see drug users meeting up, even in winter. It could be snowing and they’re still there because they sheltered inside it.”

Another resident on Beverley Road said: “The council really needs to cut the bushes down. They’ve thinned out some of the others on the field.

“It’s a massive problem because there are lots of kids of primary school age living in this area.”

The issues with the copse recently came to light once more after the body of 33-year-old Andrew Hilton was found hanged in the clump of shrubs, though there is no evidence that his death is in any way related to drug use.

A spokesman for Wigan Council said: “We are aware of residents’ concerns in this area and we have already taken steps to start work on thinning out the green space which has already increased visibility to act as a deterrent to anyone who may want to use the land for illegal purposes.

“We will now assess what further measures we can take on the land.”

Residents who are concerned about drug use in their neighbourhood should contact Greater Manchester Police (GMP) on 101.