Horrifying pictures snapped at a protected Wigan beauty spot have revealed the extent of the borough’s littering plight.
Shocked borough residents visiting Wigan Flashes this weekend have contacted the council after finding the Poolstock Lane car park and surrounding grassland peppered with litter and dog waste.
And local rangers, accustomed to wanton acts of vandalism have been equally stunned by this latest act, describing it as “the worst single incident we have had.”
The images were taken during a “family-friendly” walk on Sunday morning, which saw parents with young children flock to the nature reserve.
Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which works with the council to preserve the area, says action will be taken to remove the litter and restore the site to its natural beauty.
Mark Champion, projects manager for the trust, said: “This is the worst single incident we have had.
“The dog bags came from a bin which has been tipped over. They are all in a pile. As vandalism goes, I would think this is the most horrible thing to vandalise.
“It’s absolutely disgusting and both the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Wigan Council are disappointed that this has happened and are taking steps to get it sorted urgently.
“This isn’t something we can ask volunteers to pick up, it’s contaminated waste. Unfortunately it’s going to be a professional job.”
Lancashire Wildlife Trust organises regular litter picks in the borough and people on community social media pages have already offered to attend the site to help clear up the remaining litter.
Residents have responded to the incident calling it a “disgrace” and a “crying shame”.
David Neil Banks said: “I’m disgusted wherever I go in the countryside in Wigan. You don’t see it driving past only when you walk. Must’ve counted 50 vodka bottles on a three-mile walk.”
Jean Ball added: “It’s disgraceful, whether you walk in the parks, the countryside or down the street there is litter everywhere.”
The conversation quickly turned to the collection of black bins, with suggestions that people are refusing to take their rubbish home because they do not have room in their own bin for it.
Others suggested the addition of more public bins could be a solution while the majority remained adamant that the problem falls with the individual.
Angela Fishwick said: “This is nothing to do with bin collections. This is ignorant people who have no respect for their community and even if there were 100 bins close by, they would not use them.
“My bin collections have been changed along with everyone else’s but that won’t make me throw rubbish on the floor. Let’s stop blaming the council and accept responsibility ourselves.”
Residents are encouraged to report fly-tipping to Wigan Council via the website at www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit or by using the Report It app.