DRUG paraphernalia has been found strewn across a car park known for attracting anti-social behaviour to a Bolton beauty spot.

Gas canisters and balloons used for taking laughing gas, known as nitrous oxide, were found on Horrocks Wood car park in Scout Road, Smithills — a popular rambling route with beautiful views across the borough.

Laughing gas is used legitimately to produce whipped cream and as a hospital anaesthetic, but is now a controlled substance. The canisters are the latest in a list of problems for the car park, including dogging and littering.

Councillor for Astley Bridge, Hilary Fairclough, has called the car park “a disgrace and a shambles”.

She said: “It’s obviously concerning to people. There’s a huge problem with litter and dog fouling. People want to go for a pleasant walk and they have to wade through this.

“It has been a nightmare for residents and people who go up there to enjoy country life.”

Residents have complained, but the problem is ongoing.

Cllr Fairclough added: “We’ve been doing our best. It’s groups of people gathering up there, so you can clean it up one day and it’s just as bad the next day.”

The site is owned by the Forestry Commission, but the Woodland Trust is currently in the early stages of discussions to look after the car park.

Cllr Fairclough said: “I only hope that the Woodland trust do manage to get an arrangement and the sooner the better because what they have done in other parts of the area is brilliant."