ORGANISERS of an event at Christchurch Quay have hit back over littering accusations.

Responding to criticism from the leader of the council, Cllr Ray Nottage, Christchurch Rowing Club have disputed claims their event caused the mess on the quay earlier this month.

Litter was left overflowing from dog mess bins after the weekend of March 12 and 13, more than a week after Christchurch council removed all the bins from the quay as part of a controversial trial.

The council replaced them with signs asking people to take their rubbish home with them.

And following the mess, they said environmental enforcement patrols would be stepped up, with more people potentially being fined for littering.

At the time, Cllr Ray Nottage blamed the state of the beauty spot on "an event at the Quay at the weekend".

“We would normally have an agreement with event organisers that, as a prerequisite of granting them a licence to hold an event, they must ensure that regular litter-picking is carried out.

"This event was not required to have a licence as it did not take place on land at the Quay itself, but we will ensure that any such future events also require litter-picking in the vicinity", he said.

But Christchurch Rowing Club, organisers of the Head of the Stour event which took place on the Saturday, said they ensured any litter from their event was picked up before they went home.

Peter Staddon, club president, said: "We take pride in our town and enjoy being part of it.

"It is very frustrating that someone has implied this was down to us.

"We are following it up with the authority but want to reassure people, this was not as a result of our event."

Mr Staddon said people had contacted the club upset over the accusation.

He added: "Our members are very well behaved. I did the final litter check myself to make sure it was all clear."