A North Staffordshire high school is considering banning members of the public from using its grounds to exercise following complaints over anti-social behaviour.
Westwood College in Leek is set to take the drastic step after seeing large groups of youths gathering during lockdown and leaving their rubbish behind.
Staff are now looking at ways of securing the site, which is popular with dog walkers.
A college spokesman said: “Increasingly we have been made aware of groups of young people accessing the site, usually in the evenings, and leaving a mess for others to clean up.
“In the coming days we may have to look to securing the site in the evenings on health and safety grounds, which would be a great shame for the majority who use the site responsibly.
“Also, the college has reopened for students of key workers. As a reminder, please do not access the site for recreational use during school hours, 8am to 6pm.”
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Residents have now hit out at the ‘irresponsible minority’ who have prompted this decision.
One said: “It will be a terrible shame if a few vandals spoil it for the many dog owners – myself included – that have enjoyed many many years of walking round the school.
“Living on Westwood most of my life, four generations of my family have been going up to the school, acting responsibly, adhering to the times we’re allowed to go. There have never any problems.
“It’s a great place to let the dogs run freely – especially on the big playing field, all safe and secure.
“I was looking forward to visiting with my dog after lockdown rules were relaxed.
“I do hope the actions of a few mindless morons won’t spoil it for the many upright and responsible citizens who treat this wonderful and historic place with the respect it deserves.”
And another added: “I hope the school can track them down and find out why they do this, or at least why they don’t clear up after themselves.
“Closing the grounds says that no-one can be trusted but these young people need to know that they specifically are a problem.”