A CLEAN-UP of the Basingstoke Canal has left the organiser disgusted with litter louts and some dog walkers.
Gary Goddard spoke out after a team of 40 volunteers had spent Sunday filling 80 bin bags with rubbish. They collected scores of drink cans and bottles, numerous supermarket trolleys, traffic cones, and even a shed door and mattress.
The litter pickers also removed dozens of bags containing dogs' muck which had been thrown in the hedges alongside the 32-mile stretch of waterway.
Mr Goddard, the canal angling association's head bailiff, said: "It's disgusting the way some people are turning the canal into a dumping ground.
"They are in danger of ruining what is a nature reserve, and one of the most picturesque waterways in England."
He was particularly scathing of dog walkers who use a poop-a-scoop, and then throw the bags in the hedges.
"I found 12 bags and the volunteers told a similar story," said Mr Goddard.
In the past some walkers have blamed anglers for dumping drink cans and bottles in the canal.
But Mr Goddard disputed this because the association's 8,000 members are not allowed to take cans of drink with them when fishing.
"If they are caught with cans in their possession then they lose their annual £16 permit," added Mr Goddard. Last year he banned three anglers who had broken the "no cans" rule.