Local residents were aghast at the state of Didsbury Park on Monday 18th April after the gorgeous weather the previous day saw the park filled with sun-worshippers, many of them armed with picnics and even disposable barbecues.
According to Andrew Simcock, Labour Councillor for Didsbury East and also Chair of Friends of Didsbury Park (www.friendsofdidsburypark.co.uk/), litter and particularly rubbish bins is a standing item on Friends meeting agendas, but the widespread nature of the littering on this occasion means that the problem can’t be blamed on a lack of bins.
Littering in the park has in fact been a growing problem over the past few years, probably at least partly a result of the fact that many Didsbury residents live in flats and shared houses without their own gardens. Many residents – including one mother who found a used set of crockery in the park after a spate of sunny weather – will be surprised to learn that Didsbury Park was a 2010/11 Northwest winner in the Keep Britain Tidy Flag awards (www.keepbritaintidy.org/GreenFlag).
Concerned parties are recommended to attend Friends of Didsbury Park meetings to discuss measures that might be taken to tackle the ongoing problem, including the provision of more bins, and also to email Manchester South Area Parks Wardens manager Steve West on s.west[at]manchester.gov.uk about stepping up/enforcing fines for those who won’t take their litter home. It’s worth noting that Didsbury Park does not have its own dedicated park warden and that the lack of on-site surveillance may be a factor in the problem.
The parks authority were asked for a comment but have not responded to emails or phone messages.