Litter and parking issues at Newbridge and Spitchwick
This area tends to become extremely busy over the summer months during hot weather. Please help us by taking your litter home or use the bins provided and observe the parking regulations. We have Rangers on duty that patrol the area and spend time clearing litter with help from volunteers.
Cars and Parking
Devon County Council and the police are responsible for traffic related matters. Civil Enforcement Officers (CEO's) patrol the area and issue fixed penalty notices. The police have also been called on occasion to deal with cars that cause an obstruction on the highway.
The Recreation and Access Strategy identified the challenge to reduce the amount of recreational litter and fly-tipping, and reduce the associated costs to the National Park Authority. One of the key actions from the Recreation Strategy has been to develop a litter campaign, which we launched last year. 2013.
Some of the issues and challenges
Whilst the Authority does not have a direct legal responsibility to remove litter (we are not the litter/waste authority), our staff and volunteers do undertake litter picking of heavily used sites. This is done as part of our role in the management of visitors.
The current cost of disposing of litter collected is around £20,000 per annum. This cost does not include the staff cost in collecting litter, so the real cost to the Authority is much higher. All litter disposed of goes direct to landfill as it cannot be readily separated into recyclables.
Littering and fly-tipping is a year round problem within the National Park. During the spring and summer, with the increase in visitor numbers and better weather, there is an increase in litter resulting from from picnics, fast food outlets and BBQ's. Bonfire fortnight brings its own litter problems during November, and then over the winter, any significant snow event also means more litter from discarded sledges and other debris.
The money the Authority currently spends disposing of litter could of course, be put to much better use. For example, £20,000 would enable us to replace an additional 100 kissing gates, or repair around 4,000 metres of worn out paths. Our Rangers and volunteers time spent clearing litter could also be used in a much more productive way.
The main theme of the litter campaign is "Love where you visit." We have adapted the Keep Britain Tidy Love where you live campaign for urban areas and made it relevant to Dartmoor.
Look out for our information vehicle which will be visiting our busiest sites during the spring and summer months to promtote the litter campaign again this year.
The key messages are:
- We want all visitors to help us by taking responsibility for their litter
- Litter should be taken home or disposed of responsibly
- Help to reduce the amount of waste which goes to landfill by recycling as much as possible
- Place disposable BBQ's or camping stoves on a flat rock to prevent it burning the grass or other vegetation
Through the Paws on Dartmoor campaign, dog owners are asked to be considerate to other users of Dartmoor and ensure that they clear up after their dog – especially if this happens on or near footpaths, car-parks and busy areas. Poo-bags can be disposed of in normal litter bins, in addition to dog waste bins.
Parish and district councils provide litter bins in villages and towns within the National Park and there are often recycling facilities in central car parks. The Authority has a long standing policy of not providing litter bins across the open areas of the National Park, or at Visitor Centres and car parks on the open moor. This is partly due to the cost of provision, but also because they would require regular emptying and can attract crows etc. Litter blowing around looks unsightly and presents a danger to wildlife and grazing livestock.
The National Park Authority is not responsible for the removal of fly-tipping. This ultimately becomes the responsibility of the landowner, but instances of fly-tipping should be reported directly to the relevant district council, giving the details of the location and of any vehicles involved:
- Teignbridge District Council - 0800 3286402
- West Devon Borough Council - 01822 813600
- South Hams District Council - 01803 861234
- Mid Devon District Council - 01884 255255
Litter campaign resources
Several resources have been produced to help promote the key messages:
- Large waterproof banners have been produced for our heavily used sites
- Branded panels for our information vehicle
- Posters are available for visitor centres
- Stickers and branded litter bags to encourage greater recycling
- Articles have been written for the press and magazines