The family and I have just enjoyed a fantastic week in Wells-Next-The-Sea.

We ticked off every single element of the town's holiday bucket list. We ate fish and chips overlooking the harbour, did some crabbing, lost money on the machines, took a ride on the steam train to Walsingham, played on the beach, swam in the sea and went to see the seals.

It was a wonderful week and a fantastic reminder of why so many of us love Norfolk and why it's not the worst hardship going to still feel unable to confidently book a trip abroad.

It was also pleasing to see the town so busy and bustling, giving all of those who rely so heavily on tourism the chance to recoup some of the losses experienced in the past 18 months.

But there was one bit of the trip that put a small sour note on the experience and left me feeling exasperated and angry at the actions of some fellow holiday-makers and day-trippers.

Heading out for an early morning run on the Monday morning of the holiday, I was taken aback by just how much litter had been left behind from the day before.

Fish and chip boxes, drinks cans, plastic sachets, wooden knives and forks and more were absolutely everywhere. Discarded wrapping paper was blowing over the roads and the harbour front was covered in rubbish.

We wanted to check whether this was a one-off, so my wife and I did several other early morning runs and sadly the same was true on those days too.

Eastern Daily Press: Discarded litter is a problem in otherwise glorious Wells next the SeaDiscarded litter is a problem in otherwise glorious Wells next the Sea (Image: Archant © 2017)

We even spoke to the owner of our lovely little cottage about it and he confirmed it was a problem and that he would often find dumped crabbing nets, buckets and more when on his own early morning walks around the town.

Granted, the rubbish was quickly cleared away by the very efficient waste contractors who were up almost as early as I was for those morning runs. Fortunately, this means that most visitors to the town would be none the wiser about the problem.

However, the littering concerns me for more reasons than just a fear of the impact it could have on the reputation of the town.

While most of it would have been cleaned up before doing any potential damage, I couldn't help but wonder how much of the litter, much of it plastic, had already blown into the sea, potentially affecting whatever sea life was in the harbour waters at that time.

And then there are the longer term implications.

I'm stunned that in this day and age a seemingly large number of people appear to remain unbothered about the potential implications littering can have on the local natural environment and the planet as a whole.

They are either too ignorant to know about the problems their laziness can cause, or know but can't be bothered to do something about it.

Perhaps their defence would be that the bins were already over-flowing (I certainly didn't notice that), but even so, how hard is it to simply pick up your own rubbish, put it in the boot and dispose of it when you get home?

In recent weeks, we've seen examples all over the world of the potentially devastating damage climate change and environmental damage is having on our planet and its impact on our day to day lives. Surely only the stubborn few remain convinced that it is all in fact some big conspiracy theory?

We've seen floods, we've seen fires and after all of these the message is crystal clear - only we as humans can act to stop these major disaster from happening. Each and every one of us has a part to play in protecting our environment and the surroundings around us. That can start with the simple act of picking up your rubbish - but certainly shouldn't stop there.

However, I worry that if we cant even be bothered to simply clear up after we've enjoyed a lovely meal, what hope have we got when it comes to those other actions that are so vital to protecting this planet?