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Sunderland’s Children’s Forest hit by fires and fly-tippers as problems persists

Bags of rubbish dumped in the Children's Forest in Sunderland.
Bags of rubbish dumped in the Children's Forest in Sunderland.
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A green space in Sunderland is still being used as a dumping ground by fly-tippers according to residents.

The Children’s Forest area, which lies off Hylton Road between Pennywell and South Hylton, has been left strewn with rubbish in recent days.

Glass bottles among the discarded items.

Glass bottles among the discarded items.

And, residents say there have also been fires at the site.

People who use the green area every day to walk their dogs say they have been left furious by the latest round of fly-tipping.

Now, they say people of all ages who could enjoy the open space are being put off using it.

The latest incident comes as the Echo continues its Clean Streets campaign, which is calling on Wearsiders to take more care of their personal rubbish and also report any incidents of fly-tipping or rubbish dumping.

People have also been setting fires on the Children's Forest site.

People have also been setting fires on the Children's Forest site.

During the latest incident there was a household bill among the rubbish and the name and address has been passed onto Sunderland City Council.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said she is fed up of the selfish people who are doing this.

She said: “It is a lovely area and they are ruining it for everyone.

“A friend of mine won’t take her dog walking there because it cut a paw on glass last time.

Clean Streets is an Echo campaign calling on the city to be kept litter-free.

Clean Streets is an Echo campaign calling on the city to be kept litter-free.

“It’s a disgrace, no sooner has one lot of rubbish been cleaned up then some more is dumped.

“They used to just dump the rubbish, but now they are setting fire to it as well.

“You can’t let your dog off the lead because of all the glass. I always pick up after the dog and then you look at all this rubbish and wonder why you bother.”

The problem at the Children’s Forest has been highlighted several times in the Echo, but the residents says ignorant fly-tippers are just not taking any notice.

The resident who spoke to the Echo, said she doesn’t blame the authority it is the people who dump the rubbish who are to blame.

The spot, which is also known as the Battlefield, has also been the subject of vandalism over the years with damage to benches and artwork installed in the field and seating has even been set alight.

A council spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is a civil offence, and our environmental enforcement officers will do everything they can to identify those responsible and prosecute wherever possible and appropriate.

“We work closely with our community partners to maintain the Pennywell Children’s Forest as best we can for everyone to enjoy, but the irresponsible actions of a minority continue to ruin people’s enjoyment of this popular open space.

“We would urge people with any concerns about littering or fly tipping to report it by telephoning 0191 520 5550 or visiting sunderland.gov.uk, and help us to tackle this type of antisocial behaviour.”