A SOMERSET council is urging residents to take their litter home when visiting parks and open spaces this Easter weekend.

According to the latest coronavirus guidelines, people can meet either in a group of six or from two households.

Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) are encouraging people to "enjoy" the open spaces but also "take pride in them" and "dispose of their litter responsibly or take it home with them".

"The job of keeping the district’s parks and open spaces maintained for public use is a continual process," said a spokesperson for SWT.

"The council’s open spaces team and cleansing contractor Idverde, are regularly seen carrying out their cleaning, grounds maintenance and landscaping duties.

"In many cases, the parks are also maintained in partnership with town and parish councils, and friends groups made up of local volunteers who help improve and develop them.

"Their input is invaluable and supports the maintenance programme carried out by the open spaces team."

Seven of the district's park are recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme, hosted by Keep Britain Tidy.

In 2020, Blenheim Gardens in Minehead received its first Green Flag Award.

Wellington Park retained its Green Flag Heritage Award and Comeytrowe Park, which is managed by the Friends of Comeytrowe Park group, retained its Community Green Flag Award.

Taunton’s Vivary, Victoria and French Weir Parks also retained their Green Flag status, along with Swains Lane Nature Reserve in Wellington, which is managed by the Swains Lane Community Group.

To keep Vivary Park in prime condition, approximately 26,000 winter/spring bedding plants and 28,000 summer bedding plants are planted every October and May.

"The park’s borders are packed with shrubs which require minimum maintenance but are regularly pruned; and the trees, many of which were planted to commemorate historic occasions, are maintained by the council’s arboricultural experts," added the spokesperson for SWT.

"Grass cutting within the park starts in March with two cuts a month on average.

"The cutting programme normally ends in November, but with the mild weather in recent years, this has sometimes been extended into December.

"Litter collections are carried out twice daily throughout the year, whatever the weather. 

"Should visitors find a bin that is full or overflowing, they should report it using the council's online bin report form or to customer services on 0300 304 8000.

"Structural features including the bandstand, fountain, gates and ornamental shelter, which are all listed, are regularly maintained on a rolling programme with one feature given a makeover each year.

"Most of the work is carried out by SWT’s open spaces team with occasional specialist assistance from outside contractors."