Derwentwater: Visitors using beauty spot as toilet

Image source, Martin Bergerud
Image caption,
Volunteers have called for better signage to educate people about how long it takes for rubbish to break down

An unsightly find at a Lake District beauty spot has led to more calls for visitors to clear up after themselves to stop the area "becoming a toilet".

Litter pickers found human waste, loo roll and dog mess at Surprise View, Derwentwater, near Keswick.

Volunteer Martin Bergerud said at one spot there was not "a single tree that didn't have something behind it".

It was the second time the group cleared rubbish at the lake, which has also seen camping equipment abandoned.

The event - called Derwentwater Clean Sweep: The Sequel - was carried out last Wednesday evening, with volunteers dividing the lake up into 30 areas to comb through.

Groups across the Lake District have taken part in regular clean-up operations since the pandemic, due to large numbers of tourists travelling to the area.

In March volunteers at Thirlmere, Allerdale, also found tents and rubbish abandoned, ahead of lockdown travel rules being eased.

Image source, Martin Bergerud
Image caption,
Volunteers said the biggest problem they are finding is human and dog waste

Mr Bergerud, who took part in the clean up with his wife Lisa, also found a mixture of plastic containers and tins.

"It's just messy. The biggest problem I would say at the minute is the dog waste and human waste - they are both as bad as each other," he said.

"Everyone says it's education, it probably is, but it's just the sheer volume of people coming to the Lakes this year, it's nearly hard to get on top of it in one fell swoop."

Mr Bergerud said better signage needed to be installed to educate visitors about how long it takes for rubbish to break down.

"The only thing you can really throw away is an apple core, otherwise, take it home," he said.

"There's lots of really good people out there, there's a small minority who make a real mess - literally - for everybody else."

Follow BBC North East & Cumbria on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Send your story ideas to

Related Topics