ROYAL Marines this week apologised for leaving local beauty spot Woodbury Common looking like a rubbish dump. Walkers were angered when part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Special Site of Scientific Interest was left littered with the remai
ROYAL Marines this week apologised for leaving local beauty spot Woodbury Common looking like a rubbish dump.
Walkers were angered when part of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Special Site of Scientific Interest was left littered with the remains of Ministry of Defence (MOD) cardboard boxes and empty packets of food following a recent training session on the common.
A Woodbury Common walker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "It's a disgrace. They are supposed to be a disciplined profession. This smacks of laziness."
A Royal Marine spokesman said the 'regrettable' situation was 'poor field craft' and should not have happened.
Trainer Lieutenant Colonel Steve Wilson said the wooded area, near Yettington, was regularly used by the Royal Marines, based at the Lympstone commando training centre (CTC), and also cadet corps and army units.
He said he was keen to hear from the public as soon as they noticed MOD rubbish or debris, saying the culprits could be traced and dealt with immediately.
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Lt Col Wilson said: "We should not have left rubbish on the common.
"If people leave stuff and I am made aware of it, or the authorities at CTC are made aware, we can take disciplinary action.
"Over the Easter weekend, we did a huge clear up, with 70 recruits. They recovered 50 bags of rubbish - and 95 per cent of that was civilian rubbish."
Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) warden Bungy Williams said the marines were usually conscientious.
Mr Williams added: "Joe Bloggs with their takeaways and dog owners who do not clear up after their animals put more mess onto the common than the marines.