A rural campaigning group is pleading with the public to respect the countryside and green spaces, after beauty spots were blighted by litter.
The Countryside Alliance has highlighted the scourge of empty laughing gas containers – or ‘hippy crack’ canisters – as well as disused glass booze bottles, being strewn across the nation’s parks.
The canisters containing nitrous oxide, which causes a brief feeling of euphoria after inhaling, and are popular with young people, who currently can only socialise in outdoor spaces, while entertainment venues remain closed and house parties are banned.
The littering of party-goers waste has caught the attention of many across the UK, with hoards of locals taking Twitter to share the grim state of their own local park.
The Countryside Alliance has highlighted the scour of empty laughing gas containers – or ‘hippy crack’ canisters across UK parks. Pictured, a park in North London
The rural campaigning group is pleading with the public to respect the countryside and green spaces. Pictured, North London park
In Enfield, one councillor has expressed outrage at the state of a much loved local park, where pictures have emerged of beer bottles and hundreds of discarded ‘hippy crack’ cannisters and helium balloons strewn over the green space.
There have even been reports of human excrement being thrown into the bushes, prompting concerns over hygiene.
Councillor Alessandro Georgiou told the Countryside Alliance: ‘It’s absolutely clear that public parks and spaces need to be open; offering a place for people to meet and to embrace nature freely during these difficult times.
In Enfield, one councillor has expressed outrage at the state of the much loved local park, where pictures have emerged of beer bottles and hundreds of discarded ‘hippy crack’ cannisters
What is hippy crack and is it illegal?
Nitrous Oxide, better known as hippy crack was first synthesised in 1772, had been used for centuries as a pain killer by dentists and doctors during childbirth.
As well as medicine, Nitrous Oxide can be used by ‘boy racers’ to dramatically increase the horsepower of their cars.
The use of Nitrous Oxide as a ‘legal high’ was outlawed under the Psychoactive Substances Act which came into force in May 2016.
Party and festival goers are more interested in its ‘euphoric’ effects, file photograph
Party and festival goers are more interested in its ‘euphoric’ effects
Sellers of ‘hippy crack’ for recreational use were warned they faced up to seven years in prison under a Government crackdown on legal highs
The Psychoactive Substances Act banned any substance that can affect a person’s mental functioning or emotional state by stimulating or depressing their central nervous system.
Some substances – including caffeine, alcohol, prescribed medicines, tobacco and chocolate – are exempt from the ban.
The two key tests for prosecutors is whether it has ‘psychoactive’ effect and secondly if it exempted for medical reasons.
‘Trent Park is the jewel in the crown of Enfield and for most of the lockdown it has been used responsibly by the public for exercise. However we have seen the disgraceful behaviour of a few ruin it for the many.
‘Littering has now become rife, with people disposing large amounts of rubbish in the middle of, and throughout the green areas. This also includes human waste which is truly disgusting.
‘The Friends of Trent Park have done an amazing job cleaning up the park, but this littering really needs to stop.’
The campaigners anger has been echoed around the country, with many taking to social media to vent their frustration at hoards of rubbish littering their local beauty spots.
Epping Forest pleaded with visitors not removing their rubbish to respect ‘this ancient woodland’ while sharing images of the land trashed with litter
Sian Parry, of Kent, raged about having to clean up after people littering on her morning dog walk
Epping Forest pleaded with visitors not removing their rubbish to respect ‘this ancient woodland’ while sharing images of the land trashed with empty glass beer bottles, laughing gas canisters and plastic bottles.
Sian Parry, of Kent, raged: ‘Morning dog walks now turning into daily litter picks at Sevenoaks park in Grangetown. This is what greeted us this morning! Unfortunately, we ran out of bags! Animals.’
Margaret Davis, from Essex, told she felt ‘saddened’ visiting her local Sealife Centre car park to see boxes of used laughing gas.
She wrote: ‘You could tell that last night there were obviously two cars parked here leaving hundreds and hundreds of gas canisters on the surrounding tarmac. Were the drivers fit to drive?’
Margaret Davis, from Essex, told she felt ‘saddened’ visiting her local Sealife Centre car park to see boxes of used laughing gas
Replying to their local council’s twitter, a local charity group in Tamworth, Staffordshire, wrote: ‘Selfish people are just dropping litter wherever they like, including these dangerous ‘laughing gas’ canisters that we saw in Jolly Sailor car park earlier today. Please can someone come to clear the litter away? Thanks.
Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell waded in insisting: ‘Public parks and open spaces are a great way for people to exercise and beat loneliness by having contact with the outside world.
Ian Brown, from Bristol, moaned that his dog nearly ate one of the discarded balloons littered on the grass
Replying to their local council’s twitter, a local charity group in Tamworth, Staffordshire, complained about the empty cannisters
‘Sadly, it’s clear from images over the weekend that a minority have no respect for others and nature. People need to be aware of how damaging leaving litter can be to the natural world.’
The Countryside Alliance are now calling on local authorities to consider opening up public toilets, following grim reports that park-goers are defecating in parks.
The organisation have called on the to re-open in way where people can observe social distancing, much like those currently used at motorway service stations.