A LARGE amount of litter has been picked up on Hartlebury Common – just two weeks after a huge fire.

Volunteer litter pickers have reported collecting an enormous variety of refuse on the common which has been abandoned since the recent fire - including discarded food packaging, empty tins, cigarette ends, coffee cups and even footballs – with glass also being found on the blackened sections where fires have already taken place.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) said a lot of the packaging and other waste materials that were found are combustible – with the potential to spark off more fires on terrain that remains extremely dry.

This applies particularly to cigarette ends, added the fire service, which may not be completely extinguished when discarded, and bottles and glasses which are known to concentrate sunshine on dry vegetation and ignite fires.

Group Commander Thom Morgan, of the HWFRS Protection department, said: “It is highly unfortunate that litter continues to be dropped in large quantities despite the many reminders we’ve issued about the dangers this causes.

“We’ve seen how easily fires can be ignited and take hold over very wide areas in just a few minutes, with their huge impact on people’s safety and property.

“I would urge people not to discard litter of any kind, and above all please don’t take disposable barbecues out into the countryside.

“Have fun in our open spaces but please behave responsibly and remove all litter, either by disposing of it in official waste bins or taking it home with you.”

On July 19, fire crews from across Worcestershire descended on Hartlebury Common to a fire that spread across twelve hectares.

At the time, people were asked to avoid the area and Hartlebury Road was shut in both directions.