These pictures show the dreadful state of a park that looks more like a rubbish tip this morning (Weds) after thousands of sunseekers congregated on the hottest day of the year.
Thousands of revellers descended on Woodhouse Moor in Leeds, West Yorks., yesterday (Mar 30) to celebrate the easing of lockdown restrictions and the warm weather.
However, pictures taken today at the scene, in the Hyde Park student area of the city, show enormous amounts of litter left on the grass by many of those in attendance.
In scenes more akin to those you might see at a rubbish tip than at a public park, beer bottles, disposable barbecues, food wrappers and shards of glass could be seen strewn across the grass.
A council crew arrived at Woodhouse Moor early this morning to begin the clean-up operation and are expected to remain in place well into the afternoon.
Photos taken at the park yesterday showed hundreds of groups of up to 20 people tightly packed together in some parts.
Many of those in attendance were drinking alcohol, playing music and having barbecues – despite signs in place instructing people not to cook their own food in the park.
Sunseekers, on a day when temperatures reached 21 degrees in Leeds, began congregating in the morning and remained there until well into the evening.
Although lockdown restrictions were eased yesterday, people are still required to social distance and stay local as much as possible.
Responding to the scenes, a Leeds City Council spokesman said: “Whilst recognising that people will be keen to meet up with friends and family in our parks and green spaces given the relaxation in some coronavirus restrictions this week.
“We are asking residents to still fully respect all of the guidance currently in place. This includes those rules relating to social distancing and gatherings.
“This is vitally important if we are to continue to protect the health and wellbeing of ourselves and others. It is important that those who have had a vaccination continue to follow the rules.
“The full impact of the vaccine on transmission of the virus is not yet known, therefore it may be possible to spread the virus, putting others at risk.
“We hope our residents can enjoy the good weather and our amenities while still adhering to the guidelines.”
There were similar shocking scenes all over the country, in Sheffield Ellen Beardmore Editor, Sheffield Telegraph filmed her local park this morning.
She Tweeted: “This is what beautiful Endcliffe Park looks like today after one day of warm weather. Barbecues, clothes, booze bottles, and at least one wallet that people didn’t bother to take home.”
This is what beautiful Endcliffe Park looks like today after one day of warm weather. Barbecues, clothes, booze bottles, and at least one wallet that people didn’t bother to take home pic.twitter.com/OdZgBjqR0j— Ellen Beardmore (@E_Beardmore) March 31, 2021
Forecasters have said there is a 10% chance the UK could bask in the hottest March day on record on Wednesday.
Parts of London and the South East will be warmer than Benidorm, Marbella and Tenerife by midday as the early spring heatwave continues.
But politicians have warned people to remain “cautious” while visiting parks and beaches after large crowds were seen gathering in public spaces in warm weather on Tuesday.
The nation’s hottest ever March temperature of 25.6C (78F) was recorded in 1968 at Mepal in Cambridgeshire and the Met Office said the mercury is expected to rise to similar levels on Wednesday.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge told the PA news agency: “There is a chance we could see our hottest March day on record today, we’re predicting a 10% chance that it could happen.
“There are a number of factors that may stop that happening, as it will be rather cloudy in places, which could develop into shower clouds, taking the heat away.
“But certainly it should be warmer than yesterday in some areas.”
Mr Madge said temperatures of 24.7C (76.5F) are expected in London and the South East, while parts of central and eastern England and Wales should be around 20C-22C (68F-71.6F).
The mercury peaked at 24.5C (76.1F) at Kew Gardens in west London on Tuesday, with St James’s Park in the centre of the capital hitting highs of 24.3C (75.7F).