'˜Tons of litter' and 60 bags of dog waste found at Leighton Buzzard's Astral Lake Park

A Leighton Buzzard father and son are urging residents to look after the environment, after they were left shocked by the amount of litter they found at Astral Lake Park.

Monday, 3rd September 2018, 6:06 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 6:12 pm

Paul Scott, 51, and his son, Callum, 11, visited the lake on Sunday, August 25, and came home with two bin bags full of litter just weeks after the park opened to the public.

The pair were so appalled by what they found that they made a video to share on social media, calling on locals to look after the green space.

Paul with son Callum, daughter Annie, and their family dog, Dudley.

Paul said: “My son has been saving money for a laptop, so we constructed a job list and the first task was litter picking around the lake. We found plastic bottles, cigarette packets, torn t-shirts, and more.

“The contractors had gone in to cut the grass - there were tons of shredded beer cans.

“Luckily, we were wearing protective gloves but children and pet dogs could step on it. And what about the sheep [which arrived on Sunday]?”

Paul claimed he was also disappointed that the landowners, Astral Lake Limited, have not put any bins or dog waste bins around the lake, with the only two dog bins being at opposite gated entrances to the site.

Paul and Callum with one of the rubbish bags.

An Astral Lake Ltd spokesman, said: “We are very grateful to the local resident and his son who carried out the litter pick ; it is a great example of local residents proactively supporting their local environment.

“Astral Lake Ltd have no immediate plans to install dog waste bins within the park itself. The best place for dog bins is at the point of entry/exit where the waste collection can be easily managed.

“There are a total of nine entrances into the park; eight of these entrances are off publicly owned land or public highway.

“Both Central Bedfordshire Council and Leighton Linslade Town Council receive community charge from all the new homes built on Sandhills, part of which should be used to finance the upkeep and maintenance of public open spaces, but this will not be used for Astral Lake Park despite the park being used as public open space.

Wildlife at the lake could be harmed by the litter.

“It is in their gift to install dog waste and refuse bins at the entrances to the park from the public highway. Helpfully, I have been given the name of the officer at Central Bedfordshire that I should speak to and seek a request for bins to be installed and maintained.

“The contractors have worked tirelessly throughout a very hot summer to get the park in a state that it was ready to open to the public. Prior to opening the site, the contractors undertook litter picks on August 13 and 17. The contractors will be asked to give the site a thorough litter pick once all the outstanding works have been completed this week.”

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokeswoman, said: “Whilst CBC weren’t involved in either the planning or installation of any general litter or dog waste bins at Astral Park in Leighton Buzzard, we are now reviewing the current situation.”

The lake. Credit: Paul Scott.