The stretch of Wigan borough road that has become a dumping ground for litterers and fly-tippers
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Bottles, bits of carpets, bin bags and mattresses have been left strewn across Slag Lane between the swing bridge and the recycling centre. Local Andrew Hogg, vented his anger after spotting a dead otter in the area.
The wildlife campaigner suspects the otter was hit by a car but a post-mortem is yet to determine the animal’s cause of death.
The dead otter was just one of many issues for Andrew and others who regularly use the popular walking spot. The section of road provides access to Pennington Flash with a car park just past the swing bridge – which is completely covered in litter.
“I have asked councillors if they can look at signage around wildlife, to slow traffic down and to deal with litter problems near the recycling centre,” Andrew said. “(That stretch of road) is showcasing to thousands of people out walking that the council does not care about wildlife as they are not addressing this litter problem.”
Walking along the road for less than half a mile, we spotted countless spots of littering and flying tipping in the area. Some litter bugs even scourged the car park with rubbish despite a bin provided by Wigan Council just yards away.
Coun Dane Anderton, portfolio holder for police, crime and civil contingencies, said: “We want to thank all the residents who have reported this issue and we share their concern about the fly-tipping in this area. We are taking immediate action to address this problem and hope to have it resolved by early next week.
“Fly-tipping is a criminal offence that blights our environment and is expensive to clean up. By disposing of waste responsibly and by recycling waste correctly it helps us to keep our council tax low.
“If any of our residents spot an incident of environmental crime, we ask that you send us as much information as you can, including descriptions of the perpetrator, vehicle registrations or home addresses where possible so we can take action.”
The otter found dead on the road has since been moved. Although the tragic news was tough for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, they said they were glad to see the animals using Penington Flash again.
A Lancashire Wildlife Trust spokesman said: “It is always a shame when a beautiful creature like an otter is found dead. The otter’s death will have been reported to DEFRA by our officer.
“They insist that we leave carcasses in place until they have investigated the death. This is fairly normal practice in case of disease among the wildlife involved.
“It has been common to identify bird flu outbreaks for instance. We have to be very careful.
“We are not an animal rescue charity so our officers can only follow procedure and leave it to be properly investigated by officials. It will have been removed by DEFRA.
“It is distressing for people to see a carcass but they are removed as quickly as possible. It is encouraging to hear that otters are using the flashes and local watercourses, which have been improved immensely by our team in Leigh and Wigan.”
To report an incident of environmental crime such as fly-tipping or dog fouling visit www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit.