Britain's beauty spots desecrated with aftermath of Covid lockdown drinking sessions

31 March 2021, 12:13 | Updated: 31 March 2021, 14:31

By Joe Cook

Piles of bottles and barbecues have been left in public spaces across the UK, after crowds descended on Tuesday to make the most of the warm weather and lockdown easing.

A huge cleanup operation is underway at Woodhouse Moor in Hyde Park, Leeds, after huge groups of young people gathered in the sun on Tuesday.

Meanwhile in Nottingham two parks have been closed due to the "actions of a thoughtless minority" who ignored social distancing rules and left behind large amounts of litter.

In Cardiff, cleaners were forced to clear up vomit and masses of bottles on the steps of the Welsh Parliament after revellers staged a party on Tuesday evening.

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The steps of the Welsh Parliament saw party scenes on Tuesday night.
The steps of the Welsh Parliament saw party scenes on Tuesday night. Picture: LBC
Cleaners were forced to clean up vomit and piles of litter outside the Welsh Parliament.
Cleaners were forced to clean up vomit and piles of litter outside the Welsh Parliament. Picture: LBC

South Wales Police say they intervened to disperse crowds "at various points through the evening" and officers were around to "remind people of their obligations under the current restrictions".

However, they said at 10pm they intervened in an incident of violent disorder in Cardiff Bay, recovering a knife and arresting a 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy.

The force condemned "despicable" violence shown towards officers as they intervened, with three suffering minor injuries after bottles were thrown.

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With the weather set to be even warmer on Wednesday, the government is calling for people to “just be careful” as we “make use of these new freedoms that we’ve all been waiting for”.

Housing and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick told LBC his department is working with councils to manage public spaces and ensure social distancing is followed.

Read more: Final day of shielding for almost 4 million people in England and Wales

“It is important that we as members of the public play our part as well and do so just by behaving sensibly and pragmatically,” the minister told Nick Ferrari.

Woodhouse Moor in Hyde Park Leeds was covered with rubbish on Wednesday morning.
Woodhouse Moor in Hyde Park Leeds was covered with rubbish on Wednesday morning. Picture: Sophie Meredith
Crowds flocked to Hyde Park in Leeds.
Crowds flocked to Hyde Park in Leeds. Picture: LBC
Council workers were on the scene clearing up from the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Council workers were on the scene clearing up from the early hours of Wednesday morning. Picture: LBC

But residents have been left furious at the large crowds and rubbish left behind.

Adam Jones, from Moseley, Birmingham, said he saw a "couple of thousand" convened in Cannon Hill Park while out walking with his girlfriend on Tuesday evening.

"It has been noticeably busier since restrictions eased but yesterday was really busy," the 27-year-old said.

Read more: Face masks and social distancing must be stepped up as lockdown lifts, scientists say

"While there was a fair few people in small groups respecting distancing, they were overshadowed by lots of big groups, sometimes up to 20/25 people, blaring music.

"We did one lap of the park and by the time we were leaving it looked like a festival.

"How it looked this morning was disgraceful - so much rubbish that a council worker estimated it would take the whole team most of the day to clear."

In Leeds, locals took to social media to express their anger about the rubbish, demanding those responsible “get down there and get it picked up”.

Nottingham police implemented a dispersal order on Tuesday banning drinking alcohol in parks after shocking footage emerged of a large crowd of students brawling on Monday.

Two parks were also closed on Wednesday due to "the actions of a thoughtless minority", Nottingham City Council leader David Mellen said.

"We regret having to take this action, since everyone has been looking forward to the chance to visit our parks, now that easing of restrictions means we can meet up to six other people outdoors," he added.

Read more: Crowd of students defies rule of six in Nottingham park before ‘brawl’ breaks out

Footage posted on social media captured a brawl as dozens of people drank and ignored social distancing rules, leaving behind large amounts of litter.

The leader of Nottingham City Council, David Mellen, confirmed alcohol will be seized from people entering parks from Tuesday, amid and increased police presence.

Another councillor, Rebecca Langton, posted on social media that drinking alcohol in parks is "not permitted", adding: "This is our city. Take responsibility for and pride in it."