Community-spirited volunteers in a semi-rural area of Nelson fighting against the scourge of fly-tipping, say they are concerned by the increasing dumping of drugs paraphernalia.
The Friends of Catlow and Southfield organised a large litter-pick recently, but the volunteers were concerned to discover large amounts of drug paraphernalia among the littered items.
One of the volunteers, Paul Rigby, said: "We found a discarded needle found amongst the drugs debris. I have contacted the footpath officer from Pendle Council, and am going to do so again, but have only had a disappointing response from the council, who have not indicated they will partake in any action regarding this recent development."
About 15 locals were supported by ward councillors Yvonne Tennant and Sheila Wicks, and the group collected nearly 20 bags of rubbish which Pendle Council picked up the following day.
Paul added: "The ongoing issues now are the continuing littering, the fly-tipping, and more recently the increasing drugs paraphernalia.
"The littering is an ongoing issue but we are concerned that Pendle Council has done very little effective to deal with this issue, and that it is likely to get worse once the fast food outlets open at the site of the old bus station. We are hoping that there will be planning conditions regarding this (staff committed to litter picking or funding for cameras perhaps.)
"The fly-tipping is an increasing problem and has included multiple animal carcases, sofas, builders' waste, and various other sundries.
"The drug paraphernalia was mostly mass dumping of waste from cannabis farms, but more recently has included packaging from tablets, syringes and needles, and the first needle we've found. Worryingly, this was on the main footpath, next to a gateway for a field used for horses and cultivated for hay.
"If this continues it is surely only a matter of time before a needle stick injury for a walker, a child, someone's pet dog, or a horse occurs. If the needles aren't spotted, then it could easy end up in the harvest of the grass, and then sat in a hay bale, waiting for some unsuspecting local or child when they go to get the feed for a horse.
"Councillors Yvonne Tennant and Sheila Wickes have been very supportive and helpful, so I'll be seeing what they can do to help."