Port Meadow has seen a large rise in littering over the past weeks. One cow has died due to ingesting plastic bags and balloons, while five horses and ten cattle are being treated for glass cuts and other injuries.

Oxford Direct Services reports collecting around three tonnes of litter a day, working “dawn until dusk to remove litter”. Oxford City Council said that “late night get-togethers, mainly of young people” are primarily to blame.

The Oxford City Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, Linda Smith, said: “”We all understand that people will want to enjoy the warm weather and visit our parks. That’s what they are there for, to be enjoyed. But it only takes a few selfish, thoughtless individuals to spoil it for everyone else by leaving litter around. Abandoned litter is not only unsightly – it can be a hazard both for other park users and for wildlife.

“Those who persist in leaving rubbish should be aware that the City Council has the power to issue fines and we are talking to partners about plans to increase enforcement action over the summer.

“It’s everyone’s Port Meadow. Please take care of it.”

Julian Cooper, ODC Landscape and Countryside Supervisor, said: “Port Meadow represents over 1000 years of history and natural history for Oxford. It’s so sad to see it left in this state by thoughtless individuals. It has already caused injury to the grazing animals on the Meadow and meant we’ve had to spend extra time and resources cleaning up. Please everyone – take your litter home.”

In order to keep Port Meadow a space open for all the public to enjoy, the Council are urging users to “enjoy parks and meadows conscientiously.”

Image from Oxford City Council