Three families went into action last night to clear litter and a make-shift camp from Lake Wood in Uckfield.
They acted after the owner, The Woodland Trust, said anti-social behaviour at the wood, off Rocks Road, cost the trust a disproportionate amount of money for its size.
The trust said: “It’s our worst site in the county for these problems. If regular visitors help keep an eye out for any trouble and also with removing litter, then that all helps keep costs down.
“If I have to get contractors in to clear up, that comes out of our core funds as there is no direct funding for it.”
Jude Stewart raised the issue on Facebook and asked on Uckfield Talk: “What can we do to stop this? I find it horrifying and embarrassing that they see Uckfield’s Lake Wood as the WORST site in the county.
“This woodland and lake is absolutely beautiful, we often see deer up there and it really is being spoiled by a minority.”
Jude said she and her family went to Lake Wood regularly and often found huge amounts of litter, including cans, sweet packets and attempts at fire-starting at the bases of the stunning huge trees that had been there for many, many decades.
“Last Friday we went there and came across tents pitched, more litter than usual and a lot of empty cider cans, and even the boxes they were bought in just left.”
She contacted The Woodland Trust and after receiving the reply, which contained the comments above, above appealed for help with a clean-up.
Jude and her family were joined by two other families and they loaded everything into bags for removal. Jude planned to tell the police this morning in case anyone wants to claim any of the items.
She told Uckfield News they were teen-type belongings, including girly scatter cushions.
“They had been ‘vaping’ there, drinking boxes of cider, a bag had a luggage tag on it from a foreign holiday on August 17 … they were not homeless people, just older kids over the Easter break.”
She said: “What we really need to do is get together a volunteer group and maybe even take turns patrolling the area and alerting the police.”