Decisive action has been taken to clean up a mountain of rubbish and human waste fly-tipped by the canal in Market Harborough
Almost all of the rubbish dumped just feet away from the Greenacres travellers' site on the banks and towpath of the Grand Union Canal has now been removed.
The “horrible eyesore” is being clean up as Harborough District Council acted in the middle of March to tackle the growing problem after it was exposed by the Harborough Mail.
The council issued two special notices on the Canal & River Trust and four notices on the owners of two plots at Greenacres warning them to tidy up the huge mess.
The offenders faced being fined up to £1,000 if they failed to act.
The council has now told the Mail: “Thanks to our enforcement action the Grand Union Canal in Market Harborough is looking significantly improved with the majority of the fly-tipped rubbish now cleared from this area.
“We issued an Untidy Land (Section 215) notice which required the location to be cleared within a given timeframe.
“We will continue to work with partner organisations to monitor the situation.”
A council spokesman said they will be working alongside agencies such as the police, Environment Agency, Canal & River Trust and Leicestershire County Council’s Multi Agency Traveller Unit to keep the picturesque location clean.
“We will be keeping a close eye on this area to make sure that we don’t end up back at square one with rubbish and waste being piled up there again,” said the spokesman.
“Fly-tippers across Harborough should also be warned that they can and will be fined up to £400 if they are caught.”
The move to tidy up the banks of the canal on the edge of Market Harborough is being welcomed by Open Spaces outdoors activist Peter Pollak.
Peter, 75, told the Mail: “I’m delighted to hear about this – it’s wonderful news.
“I’m now really looking forward to walking along there again with my wife.
“It’s been disgusting along there by the canal near Greenacres for far too long,” said Peter, a lifelong rambler.
“There was a whole mountain of domestic and building rubbish tipped there, even an old rusty bike.
“But the worst thing was that a load of stinking human waste was also dumped on the canal banks and by the trail.
“The smell was absolutely horrendous.
“And this filth obviously posed a real hygiene threat as it leaked and seeped into the canal itself,” said Peter, of Farndon Fields, Market Harborough.
“The people who have carried out these blatant ecological crimes over many months should be ashamed of themselves.
“I’m pleased, of course, that they have finally been forced to act.
“But they should face justice and serious fines if they go back to their bad old ways and begin to pollute and contaminate this beautiful corner of Market Harborough again.
“Many people, dog walkers, cyclists and runners, love making the most of our fantastic canal and glorious countryside.
“We have not been able to do that for so long because of this ugly blot on the landscape,” said Peter, an outdoors enthusiast and campaigner.
“These despicable fly-tippers have also posed a terrible risk to birds and wildlife.
“We can only hope that we can now all go on to explore this stunning part of Market Harborough as we get ready to get out and about again and enjoy the summer.”
You can read our story in March when we revealed that the council was moving to crack down on this assault on the environment here: https://www.harboroughmail.co.uk/news/environment/action-is-being-taken-to-clean-up-a-mountain-of-rubbish-and-human-waste-dumped-by-the-canal-in-harborough-3168998