AN Enniskillen man has revealed how he and his granddaughter fished out over 50 bottles, mostly glass and plastic, from the small lake at the back of the Erneside shopping centre in the town in just one hour.

Giving an idea of the scale of the litter problem currently plaguing beauty spots around the County, John Caswell told the Impartial Reporter that he collected the bottles – along with a few other “odds and ends” - when the pair were out kayaking.

Mr. Caswell said: “Our granddaughter was over from England for five days. We decided, given the good weather, to go kayaking on the small lake at the back of the Erneside Shopping Centre.

“We were scarcely on the water when we began noticing glass beer bottles floating on the lake. We began to collect them, pulling up alongside and throwing them into our own kayak.

“My granddaughter spotted three large ASDA shopping bags and we took them on board. As the number of bottles grew we began to put the bottles into them.”

The Enniskillen man said they were on the water for about an hour.

Mr. Caswell said: “We had gone out to kayak, to get some exercise and to see the wildlife on the water. Most of our kayaking was in that little lake; we strayed briefly as far as the Forum jetty.

“But within that short time scale and that very limited area, we gathered over 50 glass bottles (including 35 beer bottles, some cider and two large wine bottles) and just a few plastic bottles, and some beer cans. And a shaving foam spray can.”

The grandfather admitted that they had never before seen such a “disgraceful” amount of litter on the water.

He said that more needs to be done, calling for increased education from home and schools to deal with litter responsibly and encouraging clubs that engage in water-based activities to do litter sweeps.

The local resident also suggested putting a “substantial levy” on bottles, to make it worthwhile returning the empties.