I was driving through Ribblesdale on the road between Settle and Horton a couple of weeks ago when two children in the back of a Range Rover decided to deposit the remains of their packed lunch out of the windows. The crusts off their sandwiches, empty crisp packets and other sweet wrappings bounced along the road behind them. Angrily I went to flash my lights at the culprits but instead turned on the windscreen wipers, and as I’d reached my turn-off into Langcliffe did not have time to note the registration number. I know the police have more important matters to deal with but I certainly would have reported this selfish family.
So I was happy to read this week that Craven Council and the Yorkshire Dales National Park have launched a pilot scheme in the Lower Wharfedale area to tackle some of this kind of anti-social behaviour. Litterbugs and irresponsible dog owners will now face fixed-penalty fines of between £50 and £70 handed out by park rangers and the council’s Environmental Protection Team. And offenders face fines of up to £2,500 and £1,000 if they decide to ignore the notices and are taken to court. All the money is is to be reinvested in the fixed penalty scheme. It’s a shame that park rangers have to do this kind of work at all.

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