MORE than 64 gas canisters and used needles have been found in a drugs den that was uncovered in a park by a passing litter picker.

Ian Roberts, from Peter Street, started collecting litter across the borough after services near his home were reduced.

He was on his way home yesterday after an organised litter pick at Taylor Park before cutting through Eccleston's Linear Park – an old railway line from Dunriding Lane to Boundary Road to – to get home.

He says he was "shocked" to find what he described as a "drugs den" along the trail.

St Helens Star:

This is how Ian found the stash

Ian, 52, said: "I walked through the woods to get home and because I had space left in my bin bag of collected litter. I was picking up anything I saw on my way through.

"That's when I saw the canisters and got together 64 from what I could get to and quite a few used needles, and one with a sharp still attached.

"I collected what I could and covered up the needle with a sharp attached and I'll go back with my sharp box to collect it.

"The whole length of the park is a bit of a disgrace, especially the Boundary Road end. There’s a few weeks worth of work there for me to clean it all up.

St Helens Star:

Three of the four bags of rubbish Ian collected

"There is a major drug problem in St Helens, and I'm not judging, but I don't like it when the needles etc is dumped and could hurt others.

"I've collected a lot particularly in Queens Park and Victoria Park, even near children's play areas."

Ian started a Facebook group called St Helens #LitterHeroes where he posts regular updates and has already amassed more than 160 followers.