Cllrs Les Timbey and Jeanette Stephenson flanked by the Stanley Town Council clean-up team

Three old gas bottles, two rusty trollies and a damaged toilet and seat

Stanley Town Council’s New Kyo pre-Christmas clean-up.

If you go down to New Kyo woods of today, you’re in for a big surprise…because a Town Council clean-up team has been blitzing the blight of fly-tippers.

The team of environmental caretakers removed around a ton of waste, fire-damaged trees and overturned burned area, targeted by vandals.

The area, to the rear of North Terrace, was a magnet for anti-social behaviour during the lockdown months and has continued to be a draw for youngsters drinking and lighting fires in the woods.

Ward councillor Jeanette Stephenson alerted council operations manager, James Harper, to the issue and a the “rapid response” action was organised.

“The Stanley area has truly beautiful areas and this path through the woods at New Kyo is used by many walkers,” said Cllr Stephenson.

“With the restrictions placed on us by the COVID19 regulations and the latest lockdown regulations, it’s essential that these outdoors areas are not only accessible for local people to get out into the fresh air, it’s also vital that they are free from fly-tipping, burn sites and nuisance behaviour. I hope this rapid response clean-up means more people can enjoy this picturesque woodland walk.”

Among the more bizarre items removed from New Kyo were shopping trollies, gas containers, discarded toys, a burned mattress and an old aubergine-coloured toilet.

Stanley Town Council Leader, Cllr Les Timbey, said: “It’s infuriating that some people feel it is okay to use these beautiful open spaces as a dumping ground for their rubbish, but we want to assure residents that if this happens where they live, we are here to help tidy up.

“Improving the environment in and around Stanley is one of the key pledges of this council and my message to residents is: we will do all we can to make sure you can enjoy the place you live and my message to fly-tippers is: we will catch you and you will be prosecuted.”

James Harper led the team of three environmental caretakers and two neighbourhood wardens, which spent six hours cleaning up the woodland, bridal way and tidying the hedgerows.

He said: “Residents of New Kyo spoke and we acted. The amount of rubbish we have removed is incredibly and while some of it has clearly been here for a long time, much of it was recent.

“We appreciate how work like this can have a hugely beneficial impact on a community and we urge any other communities having issues with fly-tipping or anti-social behaviour to let us know and we will do whatever we can to alleviate the issue.”