BOLTON Council is urging residents to take care of their town's environment by not dumping rubbish on the floor at green spaces such as parks.

The local authority is backing a call by the District Councils’ Network (DCN), which represents 187 councils in England, to dispose of litter correctly such as by taking it home if bins are full.

The DCN is also asking dog walkers to make sure they clean up after their pets.

Nationally, there has been a sharp rise in littering, dog-fouling and anti-social behaviour including vandalism in recent months.

And there have been instances of fly-tipping in Bolton such as a hoard of rubbish being dumped at an entrance to Leverhulme Park last weekend.

The council said there "is no excuse to throw rubbish" and that it needs residents' backing to keep Bolton clean.

Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for environment services delivery, Cllr Adele Warren, said: “We are lucky to have so many wonderful parks across the borough, and we are committed to cleaning up and improving our green spaces.

“But we need the public’s help with this – there really is no excuse to throw rubbish.

"Please be considerate to the environment and to other people - either use a bin, or take the rubbish home with you.

“We are also using investment from our £1.5m Cleaner and Greener Fund to develop a new borough-wide campaign to encourage everyone to do their bit to keep Bolton tidy.”

The DCN's call for action follows a survey by Keep Britain Tidy, which found that more than half of the country’s parks have had to pull in extra resources to deal with the issues, including litter and anti-social behaviour, since lockdown was eased.

Of those, 81 per cent had to spend more on clearing up litter, 79 per cent on bin emptying and 72 per cent on maintaining public order or enforcing lockdown rules.

DCN lead member for enhancing quality of life, Cllr Dan Humphreys, said: “It is great that more people have been able to enjoy safely spending time in our parks, green spaces and beauty spots, while much of life has been on hold these last few months.

“However sadly this appears to have come at a cost, with some councils seeing a sharp spike in littering, dog-fouling and anti-social behaviour from a small minority of people who sadly ruin it for everyone.

“District councils are doing all they can to tackle the scourge of litter and make no apology for cracking down on this and if necessary and as a last resort, taking action against those who blight our communities.

“Our message is clear – don’t be a litter lout and please dispose of your rubbish safely and responsibly.

It may be the case that on busy days, bins are full and so we would urge people to take their rubbish with them and dispose of it at home.”