Early May Bank Holiday visitors to Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

The warm weather has seen people flock to the coast which has given the tourist industry a much-needed boost following the coronavirus crisis.

But an increase in visitors has led to a “huge problem” with litter in the seaside town, with rubbish being left on the beach or thrown out of car windows.

In a bid to try and encourage visitors to bin their litter or take it home, Hunstanton Town Council has recently launched its Slam Dunk the Junk initiative.

New Mayor of Hunstanton Adrian Winnington, who is backing the campaign, said it was very good to see so many people during the recent half-term holiday, but it caused “exceptional strain”.

“We know that most of our visitors behave in a considerate and responsible way,” he said.

“However, when visitors arrive in the numbers they did last week then there are exceptional strains put on resources. Lots more people leads to lots more rubbish.”  

He said although West Norfolk Council had installed a number of very large bins, which are emptied every day, some were overflowing due to the sheer number of visitors.

Mr Winnington said: “Some people have then left rubbish by the bin and this has then become more accessible for gulls to scatter as they scavenge. 

“It would be good if people carried their rubbish to another bin, or took it home with them.  

“Hunstanton Town Council has encouraged people to reduce the amount of their litter by using the Water Refill Scheme which operates in the town. 

“Some of the local traders also offer to remove and dispose of packaging of items bought in their shops.  

“Unfortunately, a small number of visitors make no effort to use the bins provided and leave their litter on the beach, where they parked their car or throw it out of the car window on the way home.  

“This then all has to be collected up by the borough council’s beach patrollers and team of litter pickers who do a very good job.”

Owner of the Rainbow Park fairground in the town, Colleen Roper echoed the litter problem and has installed 10 extra bins on her site.

“Litter is a huge problem in any tourist resort. The people keeping the town tidy are working so hard through difficult circumstances,” she said.

 But Mrs Roper added it was wonderful to see Hunstanton come to life after restrictions were eased last month.

“The resort was lovely, really lively, we had lots of visitors. We had lots of regulars and also new customers which is great. 

“I was talking to a family visiting Hunstanton for the first time. It’s wonderful that people are finding out about Hunstanton and hopefully they will come back again.

“There were so many smiling faces, so wonderful to see families spending time together. Lots of businesses have been able to open again, in a Covid-secure way. And people are following the rules as much as they can. 

“I think ultimately people do want to be out, the amount of people here at half-term shows that. And as a tourist resort we need that.”