BEER bottles and syringes were cleared from a popular playing field by school children claiming back their neighbourhood.
Pupils from Pinders Primary School, on Eastmoor Road, took their litter pickers to the Stanley Royd Playing Fields as part of a national Big Tidy Up campaign.
Youth group leaders say the field has become a dumping ground since a drinking ban was introduced in the College Grove area in March.
Georgina Bedford, teacher and co-ordinator of the school’s eco-committee, said the children were “shocked” by the amount of litter they found.
She said: “Some of the more shocking items they found had to be dealt with carefully. But it led to some very interesting and educational discussions.
“They learnt a lot and had a good time. We tried to make it a bigger community event this year, by covering a wider area and allowing the children to invite family members.”
Mohammed Ayub, of the Next Generation Youth and Community Project, said drinkers and drug users were congregating on the fields more frequently as the site is not covered by the ban.
He said: “Children at the school are very sympathetic towards keeping this green space for the community.
“They are concerned about how mucky it has become recently. We are seeing more and more people drinking on there now.”
Stanley Royd Playing Fields are owned by the Wakefield Grammar School Foundation (WGSF), but are rented to Next Generation which uses them to provide sporting activities for young people.
Because the land is privately owned, the police cannot enforce its Alcohol Exclusion Zone there. Last month police confirmed that reports of anti-social behaviour had increased since the ban was implemented.