A popular beauty spot has been plagued by rubbish, as careless fly-tippers left a load of litter strewn across the ground.

Land at the top of Belgrave Road in Darwen, which is believed to be privately owned, was left in an unsightly mess over the weekend as boxes and bin liners filled with empty cans, takeaway containers and bottles had been dumped close to the path leading up to Darwen Tower.

An outraged dog walker, who did not wish to be named, said: "As you get to the very top of Belgrave Road there's rubbish all over the first part of the lane on the right hand side where the trees were cut down.

"It's disgusting that people just don't respect our beauty spots.

"It looks like someone could've been clearing out an office or something but it's not right."

Darwen councillor Dave Smith, who represents Sunnyhurst, said that the littering was appalling.

He said: "If this was on council owned land and people could find out who the culprits were the council would be onto them.

"But it's private land so it's the responsibility of the land owner.

"People shouldn't be dumping stuff like that up there, it's ridiculous.

"I've seen the photos and from the looks of it, it's as if someone has been clearing out a business, or, someone has paid an unregistered company to take their rubbish away to the tip and then they've dumped it here instead.

"It's appalling, but unfortunately it's too regular an occurrence." Cllr Smith said that on Monday morning, members of the volunteer litter-picking group, Keep Darwen Tidy, had been up to the site and cleared it of rubbish.

He added: "Janet Pearce and the Keep Darwen Tidy group do a fantastic job. They're real heroes; but at the end of the day, people shouldn't be dumping rubbish in the first place."