A ranger for Sudbury Common Lands Charity is calling for visitors to the riverside to clean up their litter and help keep it tidy this summer.
Adrian Walters has been shocked to see the amount of litter left behind by those enjoying picnics and barbecues during the good weather.
He said: “This time of year is often blessed with hot sunny days and long warm evenings when everyone can get out and enjoy the natural beauty of Sudbury’s wonderful riverside.
“How very fortunate the town is to still have such a stunning amenity available at a stone’s throw.”
He added: “Far be it for me to pour cold water on people’s enjoyment but it is very true to say that as the mercury soars so does the litter problem wherever people settle to have a snack, picnic or barbecue.”
Also working as a clerk for the charity, Mr Walters is responsible for maintaining and conservation of the land at Friars Meadow, but has seen the rangers clearing tonnes of waste over the years assisted by volunteers.
He said: “So what is the solution? The answer is to pick it up and clear it away. The riverside rangers are assisted by volunteers who are not prepared to see their environment disfigured by thoughtless behaviour.
“It is thoughtless behaviour to arrive at a pristine location and leave it tarnished with trash. Many times the rangers have been told by these people that it gives them a job.”
He added: “Actually, there is plenty of conservation and amenity management to be getting on with without having to clear up other people’s rubbish.”
There have been calls for more bins and rangers to keep on top of the issue, but the bins at Friars Meadow are already emptied three times a week during the summer season as well as on bank holiday Sundays.
But Mr Walters has noticed one small group can easily leave enough rubbish to fill a bin within hours of it being emptied despite being encouraged to recycle.
He said: “Most people are, by now, aware that all councils are cash-strapped so a call for yet more bins and more rangers is totally unrealistic.
“Perhaps the time has come for a change in attitude. Those arriving with a full and heavy load could leave the riverside with an empty and lighter load for recycling either in their own bins or at the facility to the rear of the Kingfisher leisure complex. “
He added: “Babergh has provided signs requesting everyone to consider these options. Perhaps the time has arrived for every single riverside user to play a part in helping to maintain this unique environment so that everyone can enjoy it.”