'Astonishing' amount of rubbish found dumped in dried-up duck pond

Determined litter pickers cleaned the dried-up duck pond at Neatherd Moor in Dereham

Determined litter pickers cleaned the dried-up duck pond at Neatherd Moor in Dereham - Credit: Alex Cliff

Litter pickers who saw an opportunity to clean up a duck pond after it dried up have discovered an "astonishing" amount of rubbish. 

Alex Cliff said he and his friends could scarcely believe the amount of junk they found at Neatherd Moor in Dereham - with much of it clearly dumped there on purpose.

A total of 15 bags of rubbish were collected from the area of the duck pond at Neatherd Moor, Dereham

A total of 15 bags of rubbish were collected from the area of the duck pond at Neatherd Moor, Dereham - Credit: Alex Cliff

They were also frustrated to have to pick up bread bags which had likely been left by families after feeding the ducks. 

Mr Cliff, a member of the Dereham Community Litter Pick Group, was asked to help out at Neatherd Moor by fellow picker, David Salmon. 

"David's kids use the playground down there and they noticed the water level was very low," said Mr Cliff, who lives on the other side of town. 

"He took a walk around the site and saw just how rubbish there was. He said it was absolutely everywhere.

A section of the dried-up duck pond at Neatherd Moor in Dereham

A section of the dried-up duck pond at Neatherd Moor in Dereham - Credit: Alex Cliff

"What really struck him was the wildlife in the pond like the ducks, which were pecking at this litter."

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So frustrated was Mr Salmon that he contacted a group of friends in a WhatsApp group and issued a call action.

And, on Wednesday (July 20) evening, they gathered at the moor in a bid to clean up the pond and its surroundings once and for all.

Over the course of an hour-and-a-half, they filled a trailer with 15 bin bags full of rubbish. 

Bags full of rubbish alongside metal railings and bricks which were found at Neatherd Moor, Dereham

Bags full of rubbish alongside metal railings and bricks, which were loaded into a trailer after being collected at Neatherd Moor, Dereham - Credit: Alex Cliff

Among other things, they found: Car parts; metal railings; bread bags; shopping bags; a vape; bricks; planks of wood; a terracotta flower pot; trousers; crisp packets; gloves; shoes; and no less than 15 tennis balls. 

"We just decided it was our duty to sort it out," added Mr Cliff. 

"The sheer amount that must have been dumped in that pond deliberately - car suspension, flower pots - was astonishing.

"The thing that got me is that families are going there with their kids to teach them about wildlife and feed the ducks, but it is really ironic that they are leaving their bread bags behind and causing harm to the environment. 

The low water level in the duck pond at Neatherd Moor in Dereham

The low water level in the duck pond at Neatherd Moor in Dereham - Credit: Alex Cliff

The 37-year-old added: "To be honest the collection wasn't a big ask of our evening and we all found it really satisfying.

"We had people driving past, giving us the thumbs-up and waving. It is all about being a good role model and making litter picking socially acceptable."