Volunteers gather over a tonne of rubbish from park

Friends of Audley Park volunteers with Louise Newman of Audley End Estate

Friends of Audley Park volunteers with Louise Newman owner of Audley End Estate who thanked the group for their work and joined them for a litter collection - Credit: FOAP

More than a tonne of rubbish has been gathered up by volunteers during Sunday morning litter picks at Audley End Park.

Discarded dog poop, car tyres, traffic cones and a barrier, an office chair, a shopping trolley, and even a kitchen sink are some of the items that accumulated that have now been removed.

Friends of Audley Park volunteers remove an abandoned sink in their clean-up

Friends of Audley Park volunteers remove an abandoned sink in their clean-up - Credit: FOAP

Some of the rubbish collected by Friends of Audley Park volunteers on their weekly clean-up

Some of the rubbish collected by Friends of Audley Park volunteers on their weekly clean-up - Credit: FOAP

Residents Jon Cumming and Martyn Everett formed The Friends of Audley Park (FOAP) in July 2020 as they and others had been picking up litter in the park on an ad hoc basis for over a year, and often stopped to chat about the on-going problem.

They approached park owners Audley End Estate who gave them a grant for litter picking grabbers and safety gloves, and Uttlesford District Council provided large litter sacks, which are collected on Monday mornings.

Volunteers meet on Sundays at 10am by the large iron entrance gate in Abbey Lane, and pick litter for an hour or so. 

Friends of Audley Park with their collected litter

Friends of Audley Park with their collected litter - Credit: FOAP

Friends of Audley Park and the litter including an abandoned sink

Friends of Audley Park - with an abandoned sink - Credit: FOAP

Rubbish collected by Friends of Audley Park

Rubbish collected by Friends of Audley Park - Credit: FOAP


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Audley End Estate staff receive regular updates and have removed larger items the group has flagged up such as a huge tarpaulin that was in the Madgate Slade, as well as dealing with issues such as open fires, barbed wire, den building and large tree branches down.

An abandoned tarp in Audley End Park

An abandoned tarp - Credit: FOAP

Jon Cumming said: "Regrettably, there are sporadic incidents of vandalism, especially smashed alcohol bottles.

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"These are a danger to not only our four-footed friends - domestic and wild - but also to we lesser mortals, and particularly infants and toddlers, whose parents have brought them to picnic in this beautiful park.

"There is also open fire-lighting going on, which is prohibited. We’ve often found them still smouldering during our rounds on Sunday mornings.

"Fires are concerning during the warmer and drier high summer months, more so when they’re lit near the fields of wheat almost ready for harvesting."

An Audley End Estate spokesperson said they were grateful for the group's efforts.

"The vast majority respect the environment but there is a persistent minority whose antisocial behaviour continues to spoil the enjoyment of others.

"It is refreshing to have others taking a pride in the park and volunteering to take practical steps to improve matters."

An abandoned chair removed by Friends of Audley Park

An abandoned chair removed by Friends of Audley Park - Credit: FOAP

Abandoned cans at Audley Park

Abandoned cans at Audley Park - Credit: FOAP

Litter picking at Audley Park, Essex

Litter picking - Credit: FOAP

Friends of Audley Park litter picking volunteers

Friends of Audley Park litter picking volunteers - Credit: FOAP

Friends of Audley Park with their collected litter

Friends of Audley Park with some of the litter collected - Credit: FOAP

Volunteers at work, collecting litter in Audley Park

Volunteers at work, collecting litter in Audley End Park - Credit: FOAP

Friends of Audley Park with collected litter

Friends of Audley Park with the litter collected - Credit: FOAP

Friends of Audley Park volunteers after a litter picking session

Friends of Audley Park volunteers after a litter picking session - Credit: FOAP

Friends of Audley Park volunteers after a litter picking session

Friends of Audley Park volunteers after a litter picking session - Credit: FOAP

Friends of Audley Park collecting litter

Friends of Audley Park collecting litter - Credit: FOAP

Friends of Audley Park litter volunteers

Friends of Audley Park litter volunteers - Credit: FOAP


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