SIGHTS of litter strewn across the town and a nature reserve have been called out by residents as a “shameful” issue Andover needs to wake up to.

Reports from individuals in the Salisbury Road and Rooksbury Mill areas have found an array of bottles, plastic bags and takeaway boxes littering the surroundings.

As of 1 April, the government has increased the amount councils can fine people for dropping litter, rising from £80 to nearly double to £150.

Bird watcher Keith Maskell found a build up of litter on a river bank at Rooksbury Mill, which he described as a “sad sight”.

He said: “I do walk round the Rooksbury lakes fairly regularly, I go round there looking for wildlife and bird life found it a bit sad walking along the river to come across that, it is a sad indication the way litter is discarded.

“You have got to consider what that might be doing to some of the wildlife, that is my take on it, apart from that it is unsightly and not nice to see, we have got to consider the environmental impact.”

Up at Salisbury Road and the Hexagon stores, one resident, who wished not to be named, says he spends three to four hours a week clearing up litter on the streets, the majority of which being “leisure” litter such as takeaway boxes and shopping receipts.

The 40-year-old said: “Andover needs to wake up like the rest of the country.

“The council, when I bring it to their attention, spend a week cleaning litter and a few days later it’s nearly as bad as it was. It is quite frustrating, it makes you angry.

“We are spending tax going towards litter picking because of these people. It is very shameful of the area.”

Test Valley Borough Council said it encourages anyone with concerns about environmental issues such as dirty streets, littering and fly tipping to contact the authority.

Environmental portfolio holder, Councillor Graham Stallard, said: “Littering is not only antisocial and unsightly but it is also bad for the environment. Test Valley Borough Council has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to environmental crimes including littering and will issue an £80 fine to anyone caught. Those who do not pay will be taken to court.”

In court the maximum fine is £2,500.