James Bunting was left to pick up the litter left by young party-goers after they held an illegal lockdown party and turned it into a “sea of trash”. The 41-year-old dad-of-two from Bolton condemned the hundreds of millennials who organised the mass gathering on the hottest day of the year on Wednesday and left the nature spot in a scene of “devastation”. He blamed the “millennial mentality” for the state of mess the beautiful nature spot was left in, after coming across the scene by Stoney Bank Quarry near Darwen, Lancashire, on Thursday morning during a walk.
The public sector worker complained that more than 100 millennials descended onto the location and broke social distancing rules during an illegal rave.
Mr Bunting was so horrified by the state of the usually beautiful location that he was photographed the piles of litter left behind.
The picture-perfect scenery, which had been protected during lockdown, had been littered with bottles, cans, food wrappers and abandoned barbecues.
This comes amid growing concern that many Britons are not adhering to lockdown guidelines in light of the recent warm weather.
Mr Bunting said: “I would say there were around 100 people. It’s the mentality of the youth of ‘we don’t care’.
“It’s the millennial attitude of ‘I’ll do what I want and what are you going to do about it?’
“There’s obviously been a gap in education about taking something out with you and taking litter home.”
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He added: “It’s frustrating. There’s a real lack of respect for the environment. It’s abuse. I pick it up with my gloves on as much as I can.
“Fair enough, come up, enjoy it – but take your litter home. It’s just ridiculous.”
Mr Bunting continued: “I’ve been going up there every morning for a nice walk and to meditate. It’s a beautiful spot.
“There are so many deer up there. There’s buzzards, owls. It’s an SSSI [sight of specific scientific interest] as well – it’s protected. This is their natural habitat.
“I was up there yesterday and I could see the amount of people up there. All the cars were abandoned at the side of the road.
A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “We received a report at around 6.30pm on May 21st of a large gathering off Stones Bank Road, Belmont.
“An officer has been in the area and moved them on. We would advise people to follow the Government guidance by practising social distancing.
“The incident was also reported to the council as some litter was left in the area.”
Temperatures are set to soar again on Bank Holiday Monday, reaching at least 25C in southern England.
Ministers fear the UK could go “back to square one” in the fight against coronavirus if Britons fail to adhere to lockdown rules.
Scenes from last weekend showed tourists crammed onto beaches in Southend and Brighton that violated social distancing guidelines.