Port Meadow left looking like a dump

Our environment is once again suffering as restrictions ease and abandoned litter increases.

After the recent ‘major incident’ in Bournemouth in which the local Council described the area as “stretched to the absolute hilt,” Oxford City Council has today expressed a similar sentiment regarding our very own Port Meadow.

With the warmer weather attracting more people to outdoor areas, one of Oxford’s most popular outdoor spaces, Port Meadow, has seen a deluge of rubbish being left behind after picnics, parties and late night get-togethers.

Not only is the rubbish left behind an eye-sore – abandoned litter is also a danger to wildlife.

The RSPCA reportedly receive 5,000 calls a year, or an average of 14 calls a day, regarding animals affected by litter.  As expected, these calls spike in the summer months when more people are likely to leave their rubbish behind at parks, beaches and rivers.

Balloons, plastic bags, food containers and glass all pose a threat to local wildlife, with birds being the most ‘at risk’ creatures.  The RSPCA give one recent example:

“A recent case involved a duck with a plastic ring trapped in his bill and around the back of his head. It must have been extremely painful. Unfortunately we had to put it to sleep at the scene to prevent further suffering.   It’s really shocking and sad to see wildlife suffer in this way, when it could have been easily preventable. This is why we always ask people to please dispose of their rubbish responsibly.”

In a report provided by the Oxford City Council today, ODS state that they are working from sunrise to sunset, removing an average of three tonnes of rubbish that has been left behind by visitors in Port Meadow and the two associated carpark areas.

From the rubbish left at Port Meadow, one cow has already died as a result of eating plastic bags and balloons, five horses have been injured and ten cattle are being treated for glass cuts.

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, has offered a stern warning to members of the public:

“Those who persist in leaving rubbish should be aware that the City Council has the power to issue fines and we are talking to partners about plans to increase enforcement action over the summer.”

Information about Port Meadow:

Port Meadow is a large meadow of open common land beside the River Thames to the north and west of Oxford, England

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