THE damage caused by littering in Herefordshire is becoming “horrendous”, according to one man who voluntarily tries to keep the county tidy.

Graham Cox, of the Golden Valley litter group, said the council are not prioritising litter clearance, and there is not enough staff to cope.

“Unfortunately it has become apparent that the lanes, rivers, brooks and woods of this county are already defiled and abused with a level of rubbish being dumped that is hard to believe,” Mr Cox said.

“Having removed 300kg ourselves in the last two months via our Golden Valley litter picking group we can testify to the problem.

“The level of visual, environmental and wildlife damage is getting to horrendous levels. Road verges are covered in packaging, open spaces have hideous grot spots where it has built up and animals are being maimed and killed by its dangers.

“Herefordshire is no longer a beautiful place to admire.”

Herefordshire Council said contractors will carry out litter picks when they can.

A spokesperson said: “We work closely with community litter picking groups and greatly value the work they do.

“As well as helping to keep Herefordshire clean and tidy, community litter pickers are a useful source of information for our community protection team, highlighting hotspots of litter, cigarette butts and dog waste, and businesses complying with litter regulations.

“Balfour Beatty Living Places carry out litter picks as and when time and resource allows, with most picks taking place around spring.

“Our picks are coordinated with community litter groups, and we focus our efforts on areas they cannot access, such as high speed roads and verges or areas with potentially dangerous waste.”

They added the council provides guidance and equipment to litter pickers and have so far donated more than 730 sets to community groups.