Cows try to eat around piles of dumped litter in sad new photos released by Buckinghamshire Council - as they urge parkgoers to act responsibly.

The county’s three main country parks - Denham, Black Park and Langley Park -have seen a surge in visitors since they reopened to the public three weeks ago when exercise restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic were relaxed by the government.

But there have been a string of incidents of littering, a lack of social distancing between different groups and bad parking on nearby roads.

Another photo shows discarded paper plates and empty boxes of beer in one of the parks.

Buckinghamshire Council has pleaded with those visiting the parks to do so responsibly - keeping distance from other people, parking sensibly and putting litter in bins or taking it home.

Buckinghamshire Council cabinet member for leisure, Clive Harriss said that everything possible was being done to ensure the parks were clean and safe for everyone to enjoy, but stressed the importance of visitors playing their part too.

He said: “It’s been great to see people back in our country parks and enjoying the outdoors.

“Even though not all of the parks’ facilities are open, they are still proving to be a popular ‘go-to’ place for both existing visitors but also new customers as well.

“While the majority of visitors are extremely considerate, we have had a few safety related instances and cases where unsightly litter has been left.

“In particular, could I ask visitors to take all their litter home or use the bins provided; to use the designated car parks rather than clogging up local lanes and also to respect social distancing when using narrower paths and routes in the parks.”

The council says that when walking or cycling, groups should ideally be in single file to create as much space as possible for people to pass each other.

Also, those walking their dogs should keep them under control at all times - ideally on a lead.

Cllr Harriss added: “Just following a few simple rules will mean everyone can enjoy their visit all the more.

“Can I also pass on my thanks to park staff, regular visitors and local residents who I know have been helping to clear up other people’s litter to keep the parks looking their best and to prevent any danger to wildlife.

“One picture we have been sent clearly shows the danger to animals.

“This example was on agricultural land just outside one of our parks but it really brings home how careful people must be with disposing of their litter.”

The council also says that although some toilet facilities are available at Black Park and Langley Park, capacity is severely limited, so recommends people consider this when planning their visit.

At present, government guidance is to use public toilet facilities only where absolutely necessary so people may want to think about visiting for a shorter time that usual.

Last week, Buckinghamshire Council announced temporary restrictions on parking around some of the county’s beauty spots because of an increase in bad parking.