Respect the borough’s parks this weekend

Significant volumes of rubbish and antisocial behaviour have been reported in the borough’s parks in the last week, as the Council urges people to respect each other and Hackney’s green spaces ahead of the weekend. 

At Hackney Marshes, London Fields, Daubeney Fields, Hackney Downs, Shoreditch Park, Haggerston Park, Clissold Park and many other green spaces, the Council has collected unusually large volumes of rubbish - much of which was left on the grass. 

Over the bank holiday weekend, residents by London Fields reported significant issues with urination and defecation in the park. 

In response, the Council is reopening public toilets in parks this weekend and continuing to task enforcement officers to parks, which last week resulted in over 40 fines for urination and defecation at London Fields alone. 

The Council has already implemented its full summer waste collection routines for parks a month early, which will see more staff collect rubbish first thing in the morning and into the evening, and it will also deliver large capacity bins to parks with litter issues. 

However, this will place increased pressure on Council resources - with rubbish collections during the summer at London Fields alone last year costing nearly £100,000 and additional bins expected to cost £70,000. 

The Council is calling for people to do everything they can to respect the government’s coronavirus guidance and the borough’s parks by: 

  • Keeping 2 metres from others at all times, unless from the same household

  • Taking litter home from parks and returning home if they need to use the toilet 

Anyone caught littering or urinating in public could receive a fixed penalty notice.

Cllr Jon Burke, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm
Parks are a vital resource for all in the borough, and especially for those without access to private or communal green spaces. However, the amount of litter and antisocial behaviour witnessed in our parks this week is completely unacceptable . 

Not only are people putting themselves and others at risk from coronavirus - they’re placing an even bigger strain on the Council’s resources when our annual Government grant has been cut by £140m since 2010. 

We’re doing all we can to keep parks open and help limit the spread of coronavirus, but people need to take responsibility by limiting their contact with those outside their household, sticking to the government’s guidelines on coronavirus, and treating our parks and the staff who work so hard to keep them open with respect.
Cllr Jon Burke, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm