A MOTHER and daughter were left "physically" unable to carry bin bags due to the sheer amount of rubbish left at a popular Darlington spot on the first day of hot weather.

Katherine Waistell, along with 10-year-old daughter Gracie, spent yesterday morning clearing up a beauty spot in High Coniscliffe after it was strewn with mess on Tuesday.

Ms Waistell, who said the area by the River Tees had been left a "state," said they were shocked to see vodka bottles, gas canisters, smashed glass and 'smoked' joints left.

Across the region, beaches and other beauty spots were left covered in litter on Tuesday - the first day of hot weather since further restrictions were eased.

SEE MORE: Shocking scenes after Tynemouth beach left ruined by rubbish

Darlington Borough Council has since condemned the "inconsiderate" actions of those leaving mess behind, saying it takes reports of littering "very seriously."

Ms Waistell, of Cockerton, said she had spotted pictures of High Coniscliffe on Facebook, noticing the volume of rubbish and wildlife in the background. 

She said: "I'd seen pictures of the mess on Facebook, and told my daughter before bed 'we are getting up in the morning, and going to help pick up this rubbish.'

"I'm from a family who are a long line of farmers and saw the animals there and thought 'god knows what they are eating with all that rubbish'.

"We got there for about 9am for about an hour and a half - you could just see the rubbish was left far, all the way down the field."

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Ms Waistell said the pair wore gloves to avoid risk of Covid transmission and had to warn dog walkers to avoid patches of smashed glass.

She said: "There was broken glass, half-smoked joints, vodka bottles, gas canisters - we couldn't physically carry all the bin bags back. 

"I phoned Darlington Borough Council and they'd said they would send enforcement officers. Luckily when I got to the car park, street team were there and took the bags."

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Describing her daughter had been left emotional by the scenes on Tuesday, Ms Waistell said: "We didn't do it for praise.

"I was sat at home on furlough and then see pictures on Facebook and thought I have to do something.

"I also thought we need to teach our children that this is not ok, if we don’t then our children will grow up, and end up being the culprits.

"I just wanted to instil this into my daughter - because in five years time she will be going down to the tees, and hopefully not getting up to the things like this.

"She was quite emotional, I didn’t think she realised what kind of mess she was walking into -  to see the state of the place."

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Saying she had arranged for her and her friends to return to the spot today, Ms Waistell added people in the region were "lucky" to have access to green spaces.

She added: "I was talking to my cousin about it and the one thing that was going through my head was, all these people who are living in high rise flats and in big cities like London don't have these spaces.

"They can only dream of having the beautiful areas we have in the North-East, we're so, so lucky to have big green spaces."

In response, Darlington Borough Council said good weather "is never an excuse" for littering and placing people at risk.

Graham Hall, Head of Community Safety at the council, said: “We are grateful to the volunteers who helped clean up after the inconsiderate people who decided to leave rubbish across multiple green spaces in Darlington.

“There are adequate facilities for disposing of litter across our borough, including within and nearby our parks and green spaces.

"Good weather is never an excuse for leaving litter and behaving in a way that could put Darlington resident’s health and safety at risk.

“The Council takes littering very seriously, especially if the litter could have been handled by someone with Covid-19.

"We will always seek to take tough action against those who believe they can get away with disrespecting our environment and our communities.

“We call on everyone in Darlington to dispose of their waste responsibly and help us to keep our town clean and safe as lockdown restrictions are eased.”