TWO city parks are being spoiled by college students failing to put their litter in bins.
Local residents have been complaining about the mess left behind in Bury Meadow and Northernhay Gardens since the start of the new academic year.
Maggie Cartridge, joint chair of Bury Meadow Residents’ Association, said: “Most days after lunch time it is pretty horrid to see – sandwich wrappers and drinks cans and they don’t seem to see that there is a waste bin four or five strides from where they have been sitting.
“We have spoken to the College and they say that it is not necessarily College students making the mess.
“There is a limit to what the residents’ association can do with regard to tidying up as we can’t be there all the time.
“We have just received an award from the Royal Horticultural Society who have classed Bury Meadow as a ‘thriving’ park in their It’s Your Neighbourhood awards.
“We don’t want it to become a messy tip of a place.”
Sarah O’Shea, Head of Safeguarding, Tutoring, Equality and Well-being (STEW) at Exeter College, commented:“We appreciate that this is an ongoing issue and we are working together with Exeter City Council in order to raise our students’ awareness of appropriate behaviour regarding littering outside of College grounds.
“At the start of term during the ‘Welcome to Exeter College’ talk, led by the principal, Richard Atkins, students were encouraged to respect their neighbours and surroundings, especially with regard to litter. “This message was also reiterated to students throughout Freshers’ Week by their individual personal tutors.
“Furthermore, all College staff have been asked to continually emphasise to students the importance of using litter bins and behaving well in public parks and on local streets, particularly Queen Street.
“We are liaising with the city council and others to help ensure that the behaviour of persistent offenders is addressed as it is vitally important to us to maintain positive relationships with our neighbours.”
An Exeter City Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the issue of litter in both parks and are working closely with the College to address the issue.”