Ahead of restrictions regarding social distancing and gatherings potentially easing over the next few months, Leeds City Council is once again asking residents to please take their litter home or dispose of it in an appropriate way if visiting a city park or green space.
With parks and green spaces continuing to be open throughout all of the restrictions put in place to tackle coronavirus since March 2020, visitor numbers have increased significantly. This has led to a growth in the amount of litter being left, and with up to six people or two households being allowed to meet outdoors from next Monday (March 29), and also the summer months fast approaching, there is the potential that visitor numbers may increase even further.
With this in mind, over the coming weeks, signage and banners will be installed at a number of the city’s 63 community parks as part of a campaign reminding visitors why it is so important to keep green spaces tidy and not to leave litter. A similar initiative undertaken by the council in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy was very well received last summer, and the council is hoping for similar success this year. The campaign will promote the message that whilst enjoying the parks on offer, visitors should always respect the green spaces and try to take their litter home. If this is not possible, they should at all times ensure that their litter is put in a bin or disposed of in another suitable manner.
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and active lifestyles, said:
“During the extremely testing times we have experienced over the past year due to coronavirus, our fantastic parks and green spaces have proved to be somewhere where people have been able to relax, exercise and experience a little bit of normality.
“With visitor numbers generally up at all of our parks and green spaces over this period, we have also seen unfortunately a general rise in the amount of litter. With a potential easing of restrictions proposed in the upcoming months and with summer also not too far away, we want to ensure that there is no increase in littering and that our greenspaces are left tidy.
“Parks and green spaces are for everyone to enjoy and litter not only makes them look unsightly, it can also be potentially dangerous to animals and wildlife. We are therefore asking people to please ensure that any litter they have is taken home or disposed of properly and appropriately. We will be supporting this important message with banners and signage that we hope will have a similar impact to a campaign undertaken last year in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy.”