Within days of lockdown in the UK being eased, a dad in Lancashire has slammed the ‘millennial mentality’ after photos show a beauty spot reduced to a sea of trash.
On Thursday, James Bunting from Bolton in Greater Manchester, visited Stoney Bank Quarry near Darwen, Lancashire to take a morning walk but was shocked by the state of the usually beautiful place that he has compelled to take photos of it.
Bunting, 41, claims a large crowd of youngsters soaking up on the hottest day of the year on Wednesday left the nature spot in a devastating scene.
Despite the area having been picture-perfect days before, it is now covered in food wrappers, cans, bottles, and abandoned barbeques.
Bunting claims more than 100 ‘covidiots’ went to the place and disregarded social distancing rules while there.
“I would say there were around 100 people. It’s the mentality of the youth of ‘we don’t care’. It’s the millennial [attitude of] ‘I’ll do what I want and what are you going to do about it?”
“There’s obviously been a gap in education about taking something out with you and taking [litter] home. It’s frustrating. There’s a real lack of respect for the environment.”
“It’s abuse. I pick it up with my gloves on as much as I can. Fair enough, come up, enjoy it – but take your litter home. It’s just ridiculous.”
The 41-year-old set out on Thursday with his Labrador, Pebble, for his daily walk and braced himself for the scene he had been warned of the night before.
“I’ve been going up there every morning for a nice walk and to meditate. It’s a beautiful spot. For years it’s been a local beauty spot and when you go up there it’s often littered.”
“There are so many deer up there. There are buzzards, owls. It’s an SSSI [sight of specific scientific interest] as well – it’s protected. This is their natural habitat.”
“I don’t always go up to that spot, I usually go for a wander around the woods, but I knew I needed to go up [this morning] and see what the devastation was like.”
According to Bunting, there were barbeques that had been lit up there that could cause moorland fires. The fires around there every summer are devastating.
“I put my wetsuit on and got all the bottles and cans out of the water too. My concern is around what the wildlife would consume. [They could] even be driven out of their habits if it became a regular event,” he added.
Lancashire Police released a statement saying: “We received a report at around 6.30 pm on May 21st of a large gathering off Stones Bank Road, Belmont. An officer has been in the area and moved them on.”
“We would advise people to follow Government guidance by practicing social distancing. The incident was also reported to the council as some litter was left in the area.”