Parents urged to encourage children to clean up rubbish at Sidmouth Skatepark

A pile of the litter that Lee Harris and his sons collected at the skate park despite two bins in th

A pile of the litter that Lee Harris and his sons collected at the skate park despite two bins in the park. - Credit: Archant

Skate park users young and old are being urged to tidy up their mess after large amounts of litter were left there at the weekend.

Lee Harris said he was appalled at the state of the Manstone site on Sunday morning, adding it was frustrating that rubbish had been left when there are two bins in the park.

The 43 -year-old said parents and also schools could do more to educate children about binning or taking their rubbish home.

The father-of-two said: “I believe this is an issue that needs to be tackled urgently, and that parents must take responsibility for educating their children to at the very least, make the minimum effort of taking the litter to the bin, or even better, taking it home to be recycled.

“It’s just not nice when you have to pick up litter or skate around plastic bottles, bags all over the place.”

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The dad said most of the litter he collected had been found near benches and added the bins could be relocated to encourage users to recycle.

Mr Harris said: “In the meantime, I would implore parents, especially parents of the children who frequent the skate park, to get their kids to take more responsibility when handling their litter.

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“There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of behaviour.”

Denise Bickley, from Sidmouth Plastic Warriors, said the group had been working with schools, carrying out clean ups around the town, and was planning more education sessions with the youth club, brownies and beavers.

Mrs Bickley said: “It’s about getting the message across that it’s not just the beach that needs taking care of; that rubbish dropped in the street in a coastal town makes its way through drains and the river to the sea is hard to get through, to make the connection, but we are trying our hardest and we one any assistance.”

She said it was not just school-age children to blame and that older generations and businesses could also show young people the way by reducing their amount of plastic packaging.

Mrs Bickley added: “Let’s all work together to change, educate and encourage each other to look after our planet – there is no plan B.”

Ian McKenzie-Edwards, chairman of the town council said it was an ongoing issue and that the council would look at the matter.

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