Concern for wildlife and environment at Kirkby on Bain site

Plastic bags in trees and hedges neighbouring the Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve and Kirkby on Bain Household Waste Recycling Centre.
Plastic bags in trees and hedges neighbouring the Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve and Kirkby on Bain Household Waste Recycling Centre.

A resident who became concerned after plastic bags were blown into a nature reserve near Horncastle says preventative measures should be taken to stop a similar incident occurring in the future.

The resident, who did not wish to be named, contacted the Horncastle News after spotting plastic bags in trees and bushes neighbouring the Kirkby on Bain Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Plastic bags in trees and hedges neighbouring the Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve and Kirkby on Bain Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Plastic bags in trees and hedges neighbouring the Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve and Kirkby on Bain Household Waste Recycling Centre.

The incident comes after Lincolnshire was affected by Storm Gareth last week - with people in the local area experiencing higher winds than normal.

The resident said: “I am very concerned about the amount of plastic bags hanging on the hedges near the Kirkby on Bain refuse tip.

“They are an eyesore and are blowing into the Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve, which is popular with bird spotters.

“The bags may be doing untold damage to wildlife.”

The Horncastle News contacted the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, which manages the Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve, for a comment.

Kevin James, Mid Lincolnshire Warden at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Due to the recent strong winds combined with the location of the landfill site, we have seen an increase in litter blown over into our Kirkby Gravel Pits nature reserve.

“We got in touch with Environmental Services at FCC Environment who oversee the waste management at the landfill site, and they responded to the situation immediately taking prompt action to remove the litter.

“They were on site last week clearing litter from road verges and the nature reserve, and now that the winds have subsided, they’ve been back out again litter picking earlier this week.”

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust praised the fast response from FCC Environment in dealing with the issue.

Mr James added: “We all know of the potential dangers that plastic bags in particular can have on wildlife, so this kind of fast response is vital.

“It’s great to see a business taking environmental responsibility, and working closely with us to reduce any potential impacts on local wildlife - their response has been first class.”

In response, the concerned resident said: “I am pleased that the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust are happy with the response from FCC Environment.

“My point is that if Lincolnshire County Council had a net over the fenced area in the landfill sites to prevent the plastic bags blowing into the road and hedges the situation would have been prevented.”

The Horncastle News also contacted FCC Environment for a statement.

A spokesman said: “FCC Environment is one of the UK’s most trusted resource and waste management businesses.

“We recycle more than 1.6 million tonnes of waste each year, we generate 102mw of energy from waste that cannot be recycled and we work tirelessly to reduce the environmental impact of managing the UK’s waste.

“All of our landfill sites are operated professionally under licence from the Environment Agency and this includes regular litter picking to minimise the risk of materials that escape the site littering the landscape but the high winds of Storm Gareth have posed some challenges.

“As soon as Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust alerted us to issue with plastic bags, we took all necessary steps to prevent materials blowing away.

“We will keep the situation under review to prevent the incidence of litter wherever possible.”

• The Horncastle News contacted Lincolnshire County Council and the Environment Agency for a statement.

On going to press, neither agency had responded to a request for a comment.