A shocking haul of cans and bottles were abandoned in one night by a group of up to 50 youths who are using a bowling green as a drinking den.

The debris was gathered together by the angry bowlers, who have bitterly condemned the actions of the boozy litter louts.

The drinking sessions of the youths, who are between the ages of 17 and 20, have blighted the greens at Astley Bridge Bowling Club over the last two months.

Today, club chairman Charles Tierney revealed benches at the club had been wrecked and beer bottles littered the greens daily.

He is now calling for police action to be taken against the young drinkers in a bid to prevent further criminal damage.

Mr Tierney, aged 69, said: "People today don't seem to have any regard for other people's property.

"These youngsters get cheap booze, gather here and drink for most of the night. It's pointless.

"All people want to do at the club is bowl and we are prevented from doing that by the actions of this group. They do not clear away their rubbish or repair their damage."

The bowling club has already raised the problem with Astley Bridge councillor Hilary Fairclough.

She said: "It's a problem we aim to deal with and I have contacted police for their help.

"You would hope they could occupy themselves in another way."

The group began to gather in mid-August. Mr Tierney said some of the boozy youths had also attempted to break into the club hut.

"I've been a member here since 1970 and I am not prepared to see the club wrecked by the actions of these young troublemakers," he said.

"Someone has to make a stand against the way society is going."

A spokesman for the police said officers had been made aware of the problem and would monitor the situation.