Praise for city's 'responsible' park visitors after lockdown easing

Hayley Ratcliffe with her daughter in Waterloo Park

Hayley Ratcliffe with her daughter in Waterloo Park, Norwich - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Visitors to open spaces in Norwich have been saluted for keeping them tidy since the coronavirus lockdown was eased. 

Amid warmer weather, families and friends have flocked to city parks in recent days, with groups of six or two households now permitted to meet outdoors. 

Families enjoying the weather in Waterloo Park, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Visitors have been flocking to Waterloo Park in Norwich since lockdown restrictions were eased - Credit: Archant

But social media has been awash with scenes of green spaces across the country strewn with litter, prompting demands for people to bin their rubbish or take it home. 

Norwich has not been exempt, with food containers and drinks bottles found abandoned at some of the county town's beauty spots.

And, on Thursday, the Friends of Eaton Park found cigarette buts, cans, filter paper and sweet packets, though volunteers said it was no worse than a normal day. 

For the most part, however, those enjoying the latest step towards normality have been praised. 

Margaret Bevan, a member of Friends of Waterloo Park, said: "I've just been to the park and there is absolutely no mess at all.

"There were quite a few people there and the play area was busy, but everyone is being sensible. The people of NR3 are obviously a responsible bunch.

Friends Tracie Hart and Jennifer Cooper with their children in Waterloo Park

Friends Tracie Hart and Jennifer Cooper with their children in Waterloo Park, Norwich - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

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"On a really busy summer's day, the bins do get full and some people leave rubbish by them, but it's not too bad. Even dog poo is not much of a problem. 

"We try very hard to make this feel like a community park and to make people feel proud."

While some littering has been reported in Chapelfield Gardens, city councillor Jamie Osborn, of the Green Party, said he was not aware of any major issues in Norwich. 

Jamie Osborn. Pic: Jamie Osborn

Green Party Norwich city councillor Jamie Osborn - Credit: Jamie Osborn

But he emphasised that a small minority still needed reminders to keep their surroundings tidy. 

"Green spaces are so important and we have seen that with the pandemic, especially for people who don't have gardens," he said. 

"To leave your litter behind is not only disrespectful, but costly for other people to pick up. 

Litter found at Eaton Park in Norwich, a few days after lockdown was eased

Litter found at Eaton Park in Norwich, a few days after lockdown was eased - Credit: Archant

"The key is for people to take more responsibility."

The city council itself was full of praise for locals, adding: “We’re lucky we are not witnessing scenes of litter mountains that are being reported in other areas of the country.

"This is great testament to our residents who have a strong sense of community and local pride. 

Litter in Chapelfield Gardens

Litter left in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, a few days after lockdown was eased - Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

"We'd like to thank them and ask them to keep up the good work in disposing of rubbish responsibly.”

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