FLY-TIPPERS have dumped huge piles of household rubbish at a Bolton beauty spot.

Council bosses have now launched an appeal to catch the culprits and are working with the landowners to clear up the mess, which has been dumped illegally, as soon as possible.

The rat-infested dumping ground in Gilnow, opposite Queen’s Park, has sparked public health fears after building up over the last few months.

And the rubbish — on the bank of the River Croal near the Mayor Street bridge, off Spa Road — is visible to passing motorists and pedestrians.

Neighbours and businesses have said the piles of rubbish are giving people the wrong impression of Bolton and the Gilnow area.

Amy Bhudia, who owns hairdresser’s The Salon in Mayor Street, said: “We have been here for the last seven years and rubbish has always been a problem.

“It’s not just on the river bank but the street at the side as well.

“When I saw the rubbish on the river bank from the opposite side of the bridge the other day, I was shocked.

“It’s disgusting and I’m pleased the council is finally doing something.

“If they live here then they are not doing Gilnow any favours at all.”

Ms Bhudia added that her security camera will be pointing into Back Mayor Street from now on so she can identify the people dumping the rubbish.

She said: “I just don’t understand how people can dump rubbish like that.

“Especially next to a river, where you are going to attract river rats.

“Once it’s cleared away and someone’s been punished it will stop — unfortunately when people see a load of rubbish like that they think they can get away with chucking something on to the pile.”

Among the rubbish — which mostly seems to be domestic waste in bin bags — is an office chair, settee cushions, a child’s toy car and a keyboard.

Council chiefs have now put up signs, telling people that the discarded waste has been “illegally” dumped and warning people an investigation has been launched with the “intention of prosecution”.

Gary Lucas, aged 57, walks past the waste every day to get to work at the Octagon Theatre from his Heaton home, and was so appalled at the pile that he alerted the council.

He said: “You see the vans going round, saying ‘Love Bolton, Hate Litter’ and yet there are sites like this.

“It’s such a shame as it is a really lovely town but this is a health risk.

“I’ve been making this walk since December 2013 and it has been there since then.”

A resident in Back Mayor Street, who did not want to be named, said: “This has been going on for ages, it is horrible.

“You go out to the shops, or just for a walk in the park, and you always see it.

“It is a horrible thing to have on your doorstep and I hope it gets cleared up as soon as possible.”

A Bolton Council spokesman added: “We take the issue of fly-tipping very seriously and investigate all incidents to establish who is responsible for dumping the waste.

“When we can identify those involved, we instruct them to clean it up, issue fines and ultimately take them to court if necessary.

“In this instance the fly-tipping took place on private land and we are making arrangements with the owners to remove the waste as quickly and safely as possible.

“We are also working on several lines of enquiry to identify who has been dumping the waste.”

Fly-tipping carries a maximum penalty of £50,000.