Dedham and the disappearing litter bins!
Dedham has long been a tourist ‘hot spot’ and visitors are welcome in our lovely part of Essex!
However, during the recent fine weather and following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions the village, along with many other beauty spots across the country, has been inundated with visitors. Sadly, a small number of these visitors have left a trail of rubbish and detritus in their wake. The area down by the river has been a particular focus. Not only is this rubbish unsightly, it is also dangerous to the cattle and wild animals that access the River Stour here.
As well as leaving items such as disposable barbeques, items of clothing, bottles and cans and human excrement behind, visitors are also piling up rubbish beside the litter bins which have been emptied by Colchester Borough Council staff twice a day on particularly busy days.
This is not sustainable so, having discussed with partners including the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Stour Valley Project, the landowner, Stratford St Mary Parish Council (this side of the river is across the county boundary and so therefore in Stratford St Mary Parish), and Colchester Borough Council it has been agreed to remove the litter bins from beside the gate leading to the river footpath. The idea is to remove the focal point which seems to encourage visitors to dump their rubbish here and to encourage them to take it home with them. There will be new signage to this effect which will also discourage barbeques and clarify that this area is not a public open space but simply a footpath along which to enjoy a walk along the river. This approach has been shown to work in other locations and will be for a trial period, which will be closely monitored. The dog waste bin will also be re-located, but not removed completely as it is recognised that it is unsanitary to take dog waste home by car.
The dangerous practice of ‘tombstoning’ from the bridge is under consideration by Suffolk County Council which owns the bridge.
Dedham Parish Council is extremely grateful to the volunteer litter pickers who have been out in the mornings and evenings to clear up the rubbish and we hope they will continue to help their community in this way.