Purley Lane playing fields were littered with loose firework and sparkler packages following a run of Bonfire Night events.

Locals complained of finding metal sparklers and even unexploded rockets on the floor following the festivities.

Despite the mess, local activists and pensioners have been left to remove the debris in the alleged absence of a concerted council clear up.

Local environmental and animal rights activists believe this is just the latest example of a wider problem with uncontrolled firework usage.

Saffron Gloyne, of Purley, is a conservation and animal rights campaigner who believes the largely unregulated sale of dangerous fireworks are the main reason for this.

She told the local democracy reporting service (LDRS): “People are angry and upset but nothing changes while there is the market for fireworks.

"Sainsbury’s have been brilliant, a few years ago they said they weren’t going to sell them, but other supermarkets won’t do that because they make so much money.”

“I was in Tesco two weeks ago and was furious because next to the fireworks stand they were selling ear defenders for children and people with anxiety.

"There is no aspect of this they are not going to try and make money off. What they are saying is that we know how much distress this causes, but we are going to do it anyway. It’s insane.

"The only current regulation is the over 18 check, that’s as far as it goes.

"Over the weekend in Scotland, we saw eight police officers injured by people throwing fireworks in protest. That’s not the purpose of fireworks, and they are now being used as weapons. A large number are being bought for nefarious purposes.”

The proliferation of private firework displays has a number of impacts outside just noise.

Gloyne told the LDRS how these displays inevitably lead to rubbish like that seen on Purley way playing fields.

She said:  “Most years after Guy Fawkes night and Diwali I and others are out picking up other people’s fireworks.

"As you can see on the photos there is actual soot from the burnt out fireworks on my hands. This is in a busy playing field where children play football and wildlife roam.”

“I am usually the only one picking things up, although I have occasionally bumped into a couple of elderly people with bin bags trying to do their best. You’ve got Croydon’s council’s Clean Streets app, but the rubbish is so littered around the field that you can’t tell them exactly where it all is.

"They will go to one specific point in the field and not across the whole field. I am a big believer in moving forward, but this is one thing where I wish we could rewind 30 years when if you were lucky you would walk down to the local park for the council display and that was it.

"There wasn’t this slew of constant fireworks. People think I’m a killjoy, but actually they are quite terrifying. Where does it end?”

Gloyne received wide-ranging support from a tweet she made highlighting the firework fallout.

People across the country echoed her concerns for vulnerable people and animals and many sent on their own photos of firework debris.

One contributor named Andy Stone said: “I was going to say that I find it incredible that people would be so irresponsible and leave so much lying around, then I thought about it for a second and realised it isn’t that surprising at all.”

As previously mentioned, fireworks are largely unregulated and last two months of the year tend to see the inevitable reappearance of temporary firework shops across high streets.

This easy accessibility has led to a rise in household firework displays across the country as well as a reciprocal rise in campaigns opposing this trend.

Despite this, MP’s have been reluntant to impose any restructions on trade, with Sutton MP Paul Scully recently saying a ban would ‘push sales underground.’

Saffron said: “Last year the RSPCA launched their bang out of order campaign which was a direct response to the move over the years of people buying fireworks for private use. As the use of fireworks is being used more and more irresponsibly there is a bigger reaction from the public.

"Three years ago there was a parliamentary petition on fireworks that went well over 100,000 votes and triggered a debate. It failed so the RSPCA responded with their own campaign.

"It was just asking to mitigate the effects of fireworks. We want to make them less stressful. I.e. not to have fireworks within a mile of where animals are kept or not in highly populated areas or near vulnerable people in nursing homes. However, nothing happened and it was never enforced.”

“We also have very horrible wars going on in Ukraine and Gaza. We also have lots of migrants in the area who will have left war zones.

"These fireworks will be really distressing, and honestly it just feels a bit distasteful. Every year you’ll also see timelines flooded with footage of animals convulsing in response to the stress of the fireworks and for what?”

“Personally, I think if people want to buy fireworks they need to sit down and do an exam on the story of Guy Fawkes and what they understand about it. If they understand, they should be able to buy fireworks.”

When asked what changes she wanted to see, Gloyne said a minimum 21 age limit required for purchase was a must.

She also said the introduction of silent fireworks would be welcomed and that the maximum decibel omitted by fireworks be set at 100.

Croydon Council was approached for comment but did not provide a response in time for publication.