A COW has died following a 'huge' increase in litter being left on Port Meadow, Oxford City Council has said.

The cow ate plastic bags and balloons left on the grass, and five horses and ten cows are being treated for glass cuts.

The council said the 'deluge of rubbish' since the relaxation of lockdown rules was mainly left by young people having late-night get-togethers.

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The problem has been made worse by the warm weather attracting more and more people to the area.

Oxford Mail:

Now the council has warned people it can fine them for dropping litter, and also said it is talking about plans to increase enforcement action over the summer.

Councillor Linda Smith, cabinet member for leisure and parks, said: “We all understand that people will want to enjoy the warm weather and visit our parks. That’s what they are there for, to be enjoyed.

"But it only takes a few selfish, thoughtless individuals to spoil it for everyone else by leaving litter around.

"Abandoned litter is not only unsightly – it can be a hazard both for other park users and for wildlife.

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"Those who persist in leaving rubbish should be aware that the city council has the power to issue fines and we are talking to partners about plans to increase enforcement action over the summer.

"It's everyone's Port Meadow. Please take care of it."

The city councils contracting arm, Oxford Direct Services (ODS), said it was 'working from dawn until dusk' to remove litter - currently about three tonnes of it a day.

Oxford Mail:

Julian Cooper, ODS landscape and countryside supervisor. said: “Port Meadow represents over 1,000 years of history and natural history for Oxford.

"It’s so sad to see it left in this state by thoughtless individuals. It has already caused injury to the grazing animals on the meadow and meant we’ve had to spend extra time and resources cleaning up.

"Please everyone – take your litter home."