Port Meadow litter puts animals in danger

Port Meadow litter puts animals in danger

One of Oxford’s most famous and much loved open spaces has suffered a huge increase in litter being left behind following the recent relaxation of lockdown regulations.

Port Meadow has seen a deluge of rubbish following late night get-togethers, mainly of young people. The problem has been made worse by the warm weather attracting more and more people to the area.

Councillor Linda Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, said: “We all understand that people will want to enjoy the warm weather and visit our parks. That’s what they are there for, to be enjoyed. But it only takes a few selfish, thoughtless individuals to spoil it for everyone else by leaving litter around. Abandoned litter is not only unsightly – it can be a hazard both for other park users and for wildlife.

“Those who persist in leaving rubbish should be aware that the City Council has the power to issue fines and we are talking to partners about plans to increase enforcement action over the summer.”

“It's everyone's Port Meadow. Please take care of it.”

ODS are working from dawn until dusk to remove litter - currently about three tonnes of it a day. One cow has already died as a result of eating plastic bags and balloons. Additionally five horses have been injured and ten cattle are being treated for glass cuts.

Julian Cooper, ODS Landscape and Countryside Supervisor said: “Port Meadow represents over 1000 years of history and natural history for Oxford. It’s so sad to see it left in this state by thoughtless individuals. It has already caused injury to the grazing animals on the Meadow and meant we’ve had to spend extra time and resources cleaning up. Please everyone – take your litter home.”