Thousands of abandoned tents, camping chairs and rubbish litter the grounds of Weston Park – as a major operation to clean the beauty spot following this year’s V Festival gets under way.
Sleeping bags, camping chairs, clothing and discarded food and drink cartons are among the rubbish and leftover items that fill the deserted campsites and arenas across the 1,000-acre grounds of the stately home.
Around 95,000 music revellers visited the park when the gates opened on Friday and after the final revellers left the site yesterday a serious clean-up project has started.
A team of 500 volunteers began to clear the site yesterday as campers made their way home.
Volunteers will now work for days to clear the site of rubbish and gather discarded tents and camping equipment to send to charities.
It is estimated that up to 5,000 tents will be donated to International Aid Trust for use anywhere in the world.
Rotary clubs in Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands are involved in the clear up operation.
V festival organiser Dawn Woodhouse said that the clean-up operation was already well under way. “In terms of litter, already in the main arena you would hardly know that anything had taken place. To see the clean-up operation is quite amazing.
“We always try and push the message that the best way to recycle your tent is to take it home and reuse it.
“While set up took organisers 11 days, the break down of the stages and arenas will be much quicker. Workers started dismantling the sets within minutes of the last acts taking to the stage and the main stage was removed last night.”
Mike Hampson, a member of Brewood and District Rotary Club, has helped to organise the collection and donation of abandoned tents since 2006. The grounds will reopen to the public just three days after campers leave the site, with the parks open to the public on Thursday. The next event at Weston Park will be Midland Game Fair on the weekend of September 14 and 15. Revellers flocked to see some of the biggest names in the music industry perform during this year’s extravaganza, including Beyonce, Kings of Leon and The Script.
An on-site medical centre treated 1,385 people over the weekend, while West Midlands Ambulance service was called on 279 occasions, with 30 people taken to hospital.